Lingerie empowers her. It’s like a secret weapon. Nobody knows what is underneath unless she allows it. Claudia Woon, Founder of Innate Intimates, is on a mission to make luxury lingerie affordable.
“Lingerie is the first piece of garment that we put on our body that can really make a difference to how we feel.”
There’s something about donning racy undergarments. It feels powerful, destructive and seductive all at once. With unique designs that combine soft lace, tulle fabrics and titillating coverage, luxury lingerie is the epitome of feminine indulgence.
An act of self-care, this is an experience to savour in private. Arriving at my door, Innate Intimates comes masked in a plain brown carton. Unboxing, a luxurious black gift box is quickly revealed. Inside, fancy underpinnings sit pretty under classic white tissue wrapping and a rose gold brand sticker.
Carefully, I peel off the adhesive. A set of black triangle bra, garter belt and thong awaits. Made from sheer stretch lace, these lingerie pieces feature a sewn on rose gold INNATE tag, a lace up detail and strappy design.
Gingerly, I lift them out of the box and examine each piece. The workmanship is intricate, the lace feels expensive. It lives up to the brand’s promise of crafting the entire range with fine materials expertly sourced from around the world.
Eagerly, I draw my bedroom curtains and turn on the lights. The JUSTINE triangle bra, while padded, fits well. The matching thong is soft and stretchy. The garter, while providing a dangerously sexy element, is comfortable. They are versatile enough to be worn between the sheets and beyond the bedroom.
Traditionally, go-to luxury lingerie brands like Agent Provocateur, La Perla, Bordelle, Fleur of England and Fleur Du Mal each market a crafted brassiere from SGD250 and upwards. Similarly, a stunning pair of low-rise briefs goes for SGD250 or more. For a full piece, a well made bodice begins at SGD500.
Realising a gap for affordable, luxe underpinnings, Claudia Woon founded Innate Intimates, the e-commerce lingerie label from Singapore, in 2018. With thongs priced at SGD39, bralettes starting from SGD59 and bodysuits going for SGD89, financing a luxury lingerie hobby need not be expensive.
Redefining femininity by celebrating women who revel and indulge in provocation, Claudia creates sensual lingerie pieces for modern women to luxuriate in their desires and innate hedonism.
“When someone feels confident in their own skin, it radiates and it shows. Nobody can tear you down or make you feel otherwise about yourself.”
Doyenne.sg: Tell us about your first set of luxury lingerie.
Claudia: I got it for myself at a sale. It arrived in a light pink box, wrapped with matching pink tissue, topped with a ribbon. I was enthralled. It was a navy basque, a cross between a bodysuit and a corset. It had a mix of intricately detailed lace, sheer panels, with classic hook and eye fastening at the back. I fell in love with it instantly.
D: Is feeling sexy really powerful?
C: Yes it is. Feeling sexy is not just about outer appearance or looking conventionally attractive. When someone feels confident in their own skin, it radiates and it shows. Nobody can tear you down or make you feel otherwise about yourself. That is real power.
D: What does Innate Intimates’ modern woman look for?
C: Innate Intimates’ modern woman looks for unique lingerie that flatters her figure. She isn’t afraid to make bold choices. Instead of the usual cotton varieties, she goes for something that makes her feel confident inside out.
Lingerie empowers her. It’s like a secret weapon. Nobody knows what is underneath unless she allows it. Her interests are working and playing hard. Achieving her goals are just as important as self-care.
She takes time to relax and indulges by hanging out with friends, going for a nice spa and shopping for new lingerie. Her favourite drink is whisky on the rocks, strong and bold.
D: Sounds like a subversive and rebellious woman. How does she know what she wants, and gets it?
C: She isn’t afraid to go against the norms. She doesn’t feel like it is necessary to fit into society’s notion of a woman. An example would be Angelina Jolie.
As a single mother, she adopts children, spots multiple tattoos and wears a “bad girl” image. Nevertheless, she has gone on to win an Academy award and become a renowned humanitarian.
“Soft and dangerous means that a woman can look soft on the outside, but don’t ever underestimate her strength on the inside.”
D: Let’s talk about your journey. Did you start Innate Intimates on your own?
C: Yes I did. I graduated from University in 2016, and went into banking. The pay was stable, but I felt restless and unmotivated. It wasn’t something I liked doing.
I’ve always liked challenges and at the end of 2017, I took a leap of faith and quit my job. I used the savings and a loan to start the business. I had to do everything and nothing in school prepared me for this. From looking for a manufacturer, to doing up the brand’s social media accounts and websites, I started everything from scratch. I didn’t have a mentor either and mostly learnt on my own.
D: What was your driving force?
C: Lingerie is the first piece of garment that we put on our body that can really make a difference to how we feel. I want women to feel like confidence is an innate quality in them when they put on lingerie from Innate Intimates. There was also a gap for affordable luxury lingerie, as there weren’t many unique designs at an accessible price point.
In addition, Innate Intimates was established with the aim of revolutionising the way women approached lingerie. We want pieces that are versatile enough to be part of your daily outfit.
D: With luxury lingerie, can hedonism be accepted in Asia?
C: Hedonism has a bad reputation because it is greatly misunderstood. Most people associate hedonism with a lifestyle that includes excessive partying. This kind of behaviour is better known as debauchery.
Hedonism actually means living and behaving in ways that gets you as much pleasure out of life as possible. This can include the intentional savouring of simple pleasures, such as running a nice bath at home, spending quality time with family and friends, and shopping for a new favourite piece of clothing.
D: With luxury lingerie, how does a woman become soft and dangerous?
C: A poet once said, “If someone is cruel to you because of your soft disposition and generosity, respond to their poison with equal parts sweet honey, equal parts dangerous ferocity.”
Typically, a woman in a patriarchal society is expected to be submissive and accommodating. However, a woman needs to be strong enough to protect herself. Soft and dangerous means that a woman can look soft on the outside, but don’t ever underestimate her strength on the inside.
Images by Innate Intimates