One of our new favorite brands for comfort at retort is, okko. If you haven't tried on of their products yet, you are seriously missing out. The material is absolutely dreamy (insert all the heart eyes). This brand is made to make you forget you're wearing underwear, which is exactly what you'll do when you're in our personal favorite, the signature thong. This week we had the pleasure of interviewing the founder and CEO, Phoebe Kunitomi. To hear more about this amazing brand and it's founder, check out our interview below.
Tell us a little bit about okko
I started okko in late 2018 while pursuing my MBA at Wharton. The idea for the brand was born out of an acute personal frustration. As many women can relate, I had a perfect outfit for a party, but my top drawer was filled with undergarments that either showed through it or were simply too uncomfortable to wear.
I wanted to change all of that. That’s why we create body wear that women wear to forget. It means that our pieces are so versatile, and comfortable, women never have to think twice again about getting dressed.
What inspired you to create this brand?
The inspiration behind okko mirrors my own development as an entrepreneur and human being. ‘Doing more with less’ is my personal mantra (I wore 10 pieces of clothing for 100 days last year!). Our mission is definitely connected to my minimalist ideals and way of life.
It’s a given that (most) women need to wear underwear and bras. But, do we need undergarments, or material possessions in general, that we rarely wear or don’t add value to our lives? Our answer is probably not.
I hope okko stands for something more than quality, wearable undergarments. We are a brand advocating for more thoughtful, conscious consumption, focusing on women's top drawers. We are not about reducing our lives to bare bones possessions. Rather, we aim to speak to women who want to free their lives of unnecessary clutter to make room for more: more experiences, more confidence, and more freedom to wear your favorites.
Tell us a little bit about the fabrics you use
Finding the perfect fabric for our signature bra and underwear was a long process. We knew the fabric needed to work with a seamless construction to promise no lines, feel comfy all day, and meet our highest quality standards. After nearly a year-long search, we selected a nylon/spandex fabric that exceeded all of these criteria. I love it because it's strong and supportive enough for the bras but still very invisible and won't cause panty lines.
What do your customers love most about your items?
A customer messaged us this the other day: "Just wanted to let you know that I've been LIVING in my okko. Thank you for making goodies that I never want to take off." I absolutely love receiving compliments like this. It shows that we are creating body wear that is relevant, useful, and comfortable for women. It puts a smile on my face that we are living up to our minimal living mission!
What were you doing prior to starting okko?
Before okko, I worked in industries so different from fashion, or even consumer products. I started my career at a consulting firm that advised large financial institutions. At the firm, I did the typical consulting work for a few years then switched gears to become Chief of Staff. After IBM acquired the consulting firm, I moved to an early-stage machine learning startup in the FinTech space. I knew I always wanted to start my own business, so I decided to pursue my MBA at Wharton to expand my skill set. Although it was much earlier than I had planned, I started okko while at Wharton!
What is one thing you love about being in the lingerie industry?
Since I was young, I have diligently, obsessively followed the fashion industry. I did not have the skills to become a high-end fashion designer, but I am proud to start a brand offering the next best thing: undergarments that support every woman's unique style and sartorial tastes. By operating in the intimates space, I have exposure to broader areas of the fashion industry and different personal styles. That's really exciting to me.
Thanks for checking out our brand spotlight with okko!
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