Hot-As-Hell lingerie is a physical manifestation of how good it feels to do you. Creator Sharleen Ernster followed her boldest instincts when she took a leap of faith in creating HAH after years working for huge fashion labels like GUESS and Victoria’s Secret. And we are praising her for it, because this line has us falling in love with our bodies all over again. There is a celebration to be had in recognizing just how insanely awesome you are. But HAH is not only hot, it’s so much more. Because why just be hot? Why not be sustainable and eco-friendly? And while you’re at it, why not come charging out the gates full speed with a highly celebrated launch at Miami Swim Week only 8 months after conception? And why not create a collection that never compromises and always celebrates the elegance of simplicity? We’re lining up and taking our clothes off to get into these numbers.
LF: What was your biggest challenge when moving from a serial executive to running your own show?
SE: There are a lot – if I had to boil it down to a few game changers I’d say: a complete re-calibration of your expectations (there’s no army to execute, perfect, check…) if it’s going to happen you have to just do it and be ok with “that” without the teams of experts to help polish, research, or endorse the work prior… insularity & vulnerability.
LF: Many designers or creative people seem to have a very strong sense of confidence. Is that just a façade?
SE: Any creative person that is marketing, sharing &/or selling a product – has to have a sense of confidence, you can’t put it out there everyday if you don’t have confidence. Thing is I think we all have doubts, insecurities, frailties – that’s just being human, being real. So no, I don’t think it’s a facade.
LF: Are you more intuitive or more analytical when you are designing?
SE: Intuitive. Intuition-Inspired, Curious, Create, Analytics…that’s my process. I really love the business of fashion – the mixing of Art & Science with commercial viability.
LF: What were your highest and lowest moments since starting HAH?
SE: Wow that’s a tough summary… I feel I’d be doing the whole journey an injustice to pick 2 spots. Suffice it to say that Miami Swim Week Launch was a HIGH as the culmination of all of our teams work coming to life. It was magic. Getting sales results every week that the brand is selling is a HIGH whenever we get it. Watching customers get hooked on HAH naturally. Working with factories to source the very best raw materials and processes to leave the smallest #fashionfootprint while giving the longest life to the consumer HIGH. As for lows… it’s the constant worry of cash. That’s just a down right daily downer. Can we stay afloat? That’s real.
LF: Do you feel like the current generation is more interested in products that are simple and honest?
SE: Yes – I see it in my team and all around me in trends. I see it binary – they either need something for a destination – fast & for a great price that they won’t feel bad about spending money on or they want something simple, versatile, with them for good. For the journey not for the destination.
LF: Who are some of your muses?
SE: They come and go and ebb and flow collection by collection. But my mother, grandmothers, and my daughters are my forever muses.
LF: Could you imagine a life without work?
SE: NEVER EVER EVER EVER! I love my work! In fact in my home we play Lotto for the sole purpose of funding HAH. It’s really really true. And before HAH we did it so I could take more creative risks in corporate with out fear of losing my job.
LF: When are you happiest?
SE: Creating – can be anything… cooking, designing, shooting anything. Resonating – people accepting, loving or becoming naturally engaged with my creations for all the reasons we made it. Family Movie Night & sleep over with the 4 of us in one bed… plus 2 cats, 2 dogs.
LF: Besides HAH, what is a project that currently interests you?
SE: I am currently obsessed with the work I am doing with a group called Conscious Capitalism, creating a company built on a higher purpose focused on WOMEN and for the Work on Reducing #fashionfootprint – slowing down the waste thats happening in fashion due to speed, trends, price. I have a big dream here to make a real difference… stay tuned.
LF: What is the sexiest thing in a woman?
LF: What about in a man?
LF: What advice would you give to women and girls learning to love themselves?
SE: Lean into the things you are proud of: qualities, tasks, parts of your body. Let yourself really celebrate the things you feel you love about your body, your life, your talents. If you really action this day by day you will find and feel a confidence replenishment again and again. Then truly acknowledge the things you don’t love about yourself – make a list in writing that you have to look at. Love is a verb. If you don’t love something about yourself you have to decide if it’s worth your time to find love for it? Will it make you a better person? Will it change the world for the better if you love that part of you? Can you change that at all? If the answer is yes then how will you WORK on loving this?
LF: How FAST do you live?
SE: HAH HAH – Well I started a women’s swim & lingerie brand called Hot-As-Hell, that takes some living up to everyday that keeps us FAST. I had an idea and in less than 8 months it walked the Catwalk as a full on brand – that was FAST. I have 6 & 4.5 year old daughters – that is always FAST. So, pretty FAST I think.