Lingerie is supposed to be fun – a philosophy that Kriss Soonik casually manifests into each of her designs, and one that we wholeheartedly abide by. Always luxurious and unexpected, Kriss Soonik is a brand that, much like its creator, embodies sensuality with ease and emphasizes the importance of individuality. Season after season, the British designer unveils collections that are perpetually innovative and fresh, always in harmony with the brand’s influential eccentricity. We are beyond excited to feature this interview and exclusive lingerie guide with Neave Bozorgi, captured up in the hills of Los Angeles at LUX/LODGE, where the stunning decor is homey and the natural light is magical. Enjoy…
LF: Can you tell our readers a bit about your background, where were you and what were you doing prior to creating Kriss Soonik the label?
KS: I was born in Tallinn, Estonia. When I was young, I was hoping to become a professional tennis player (I am even named after the 70s tennis player Chris Evert) and even though I always loved standing out with my clothes, I never thought about becoming a fashion designer. So when it finally hit me in high school that I want to become one, it had also become clear that if I want to become a designer, I will build my own brand and went to study business, always designing my collections on the side. After my BA studies I moved to London and got my MA at London College of Fashion. Then I worked for luxury lingerie labels Madame V and Agent Provocateur but I never stopped creating my own collections, even hosting my own fashion shows. The excitement about “who is Kriss Soonik” grew and in January 2009 I dove in.
LF: What is the philosophy behind Kriss Soonik Loungerie?
KS: Make women laugh. Have fun with lingerie and loungewear. Not be restricted by the “lingerie” label. Experiment and try new things.
LF: What do you love most about lingerie?
KS: Honestly, I am really practical. So for me to have the mix of comfort with quirky and naughty detailing is the key.
LF: We love that you share our passion for travel-obviously a big influence on the brand. What else inspires you and gets your creative juices flowing?
KS: Travelling is for sure the first inspiration. But then inspiration comes from everywhere and I love those nights out when I think I am not working and all of a sudden an idea pops into my mind. Love it.
LF: On that note, tell us about #ksworldtour…
KS: It´s to celebrate our 5th anniversary – we´ll be throwing birthday parties in 5 cities that have mattered most to the brand in the journey so far – New York, Tokyo, Paris, Tallinn and London. Making champagne flow everywhere.
LF: The brand turned 5 years old this year, congrats! How does it feel to watch your passion grow into such a successful company?
KS: Thank you! It´s quite a good feeling. It has proven that we have something people like and gives the energy to keep on going. When I started I was 25 now I am 30, it really puts things in perspective. The brand grows with me.
LF: What inspired your latest 5th Birthday collection?
KS: It has been inspired by my love for tennis. My parents believed that I would follow the lead of Chris Evert and become a great tennis player. But after 9 years of tennis lessons, finally in high school it became clear that I won’t become a professional. That was the moment when I had to find a new hobby and tennis got substituted with fashion design. Years later, when I was already designing and studying at London College of Fashion, I went through heaps of luxury lingerie books and this was when I discovered an image of a tennis player with frilly knickers.Very similar to what I was designing. To my surprise it turned out to be Chris Evert with her infamous frilly knickers. So maybe it was always in me to become a lingerie designer not a tennis pro.
LF: What’s the most important thing you’ve learned since launching Kriss Soonik in 2009?
KS: Stay true to yourself. It´s the hardest thing on the way. People will try to change you, push through their opinions – take all feedback on board but you are the one who makes the final choice. And trust me, no-one really knows the answers for your brand. Especially if you´re doing something unique.
LF: Any advice for young designers/creative entrepreneurs?
KS: It’s hard work. Only do it when you know you have the passion for it. Your work becomes your life and you have to enjoy. Take it as a journey. The most amazing journey you´ll ever take. Guaranteed.
LF: How fast do you live?
KS: Too bloody fast.
Photography: Neave Bozorgi
Hair/Makeup: Gabbi Pascua
Styling: Vivianne Lapointe
Model: Roxanna @ VISION Los Angeles
Location: Lux Lodge