Short interview to Christina Remenyi, founder of Canadian brand Fortnight Lingerie.
What made you start a lingerie and swimwear line?
Lingerie came first and swimwear felt like a natural progression. It was really driven by a frustration with the market at the time, that was dominated by big box brands who only offered a very narrow range of sizes and uninspiring vision of femininity. I was disappointed that a throwaway mentality was being applied to garments that are so intricate, personal and deeply personal. I wanted to create a line that was inclusive in sizing and in style, that women could relate to. I wanted to create a line that embraced the body (not hiding it with padding). Spreading the word about how to find the perfect fit and how much that can improve our moods, self esteem and overall comfort and health was and continues to be very important to me.
You are a woman designer, designing for women. How do you see fashion being a male domain where it’s mostly men designing for women?
History has definitely seen male domination in the corporate world. It’s a sad fact – and when it comes to fashion, some are very gifted at creating pieces that make women feel beautiful. But with more and more women at the front of fashion houses, there’s something unique and exciting about moving away from a male gaze and into something more distinctly feminine and fresh. It is a more attuned perspective on what we as women want – who we want to be and how we want to feel.
What do you see a male designer usually lacks when making clothes for women?
Speaking to lingerie specifically, I think men lack the ability to understand how a woman wants to feel under their clothes. I think they tend to use sex appeal as the main design vision, whereas women design with a unique sensibility for ‘beauty’, functionality and luxury. What’s beautiful to a woman is complex, layered, thoughtful. I think when it comes to undergarments, it takes a woman to understand that and create something that speaks to us.
What makes a garment sustainable? Can you tell me about the production of Fortnight… where is the material sourced, who makes it, where etc..
To me a garment is sustainable when it is made ethically, thoughtfully, with quality, good fit and endurance in mind. A garment is sustainable when it employs people in safe conditions with fair wages. When it’s materials, consumption and factory are chosen carefully. When it’s designed to be worn again and again until threadbare.
We’ve built our own production facility in Toronto, Canada. Because lingerie is such a detailed complex layer of clothing to make, we found it was best to manufacture in a setting where we could keep an eye on every stitch and detail. Even 1mm in a garment so small and body contouring can make a big difference in fit/feel. We Employ women who are seriously passionate about the craft of lingerie making. Quality, endurance and functionality at the forefront of our designs.
Our fabrics are sourced from ethical mills all over the world from Europe to North America to Asia. We’ve always been very fortunate to work with companies who want to do what they can to help a smaller business.
Advertising… I noticed you made a choice by portraying different women in your lingerie and swimwear, I’d say more close to every woman. Why that choice?
To be honest, it began to happen very organically. Because we make a wide variety of sizes, I always wanted to find ways to show the range. But when I started in Toronto in 2010, models at agency were all very similar proportions. So we started shooting friends, women we were inspired by and it continued to take off from there.
What is beauty to you? Where do you look for it?
I think beauty is an ease, a confidence, accepting yourself and others, loving and being there for yourself and others.
I had the beautiful opportunity to shoot their 2019 swim collection in the beautiful nature of Puglia with photographer and friend Lily Cummings
Lately I began paying attention to photography and advertising through women’s eyes. There is a lot less sexuality involved and while before I was feeling a little lost (I can count on one hand the number of female photographers and brands owned by women that I have worked for in my almost 20 years of career) this time I felt at ease. Shooting for women is so different, there is less perfection involved – perfection in the way we think of perfection today: of a body without marks nor cellulite, of a photo entirely polished where your skin doesn’t look like skin anymore, of a woman stripped off of her natural curves that remind us of the beauty abundance and grace of Nature. And so I love today to move towards this new fashion wave of female designers using a great variety of women as an inspiration to make clothes and lingerie and swimwear. Christina’s brand (which you can find on instagram
) is coherent and really makes women, whether in their twenties or pregnant or moms or business women or athletes or artists or cleaning ladies, feel themselves and right and beautiful.