Bluebella’s Emily Bendell
Bluebella founder Emily Bendell talks pushing boundaries and how to succeed in business.
I have always loved lingerie yet I couldn’t find what myself and my friends wanted. We wanted modern, fashion led design, luxe fabrics and all at an affordable price. I felt women’s attitude to lingerie had evolved beyond the traditional idea of either sexy or functional yet the market had not evolved in line. So I thought I would have a go launching my own brand and here we are.
Yes and no. Of course, embarking on something so unknown and with so many risks is always scary and particularly when you are young and inexperienced – and I have made masses of mistakes along the way, but I hope I have learned from them and not repeated them. I believe there has been no greater learning curve than just doing it. But starting young is also easier – I did not have children or a mortgage to worry about at the time. I always say that if you have a great idea young, particularly as a woman, just do it – don’t wait. It gets harder as you get older.
We are the lingerie brand for the cosmopolitan fashion loving Instagram generation. Our aesthetic is very modern, very confident, with attitude and is very fashion-led. We also pride ourselves on being inclusive – partly on price and partly on size. Our mainline runs B-DD cup and MORE by Bluebella takes our design aesthetic up to a G cup.
We are known for designs that embrace and push boundaries, and AW17 takes the female form on a journey of unpredictable pleasure. Inspired by the fluidity and movement of the body, the collection focuses on modern femininity. Using the body as a source of inspiration, fabrics such as chiffon, satin, mesh and lace create progressive pieces designed to mirror how the body feels, moves, and connects.
The spirit of the collection is brought to life through a blended colour palette of rose dust and midnight hues, to stir the imagination creating light and shadow against the skin.
That is like asking me to choose between my children. I would have to say either Karolina for the bold graphic lines and super flattering balconette shape or Marina for the romanticism of it – I just love the wide eyelash lace straps and the scallop detailing.
What I love about running my own business is there is no typical day. I can honestly say I have not been bored once since starting Bluebella. My role is generally 50 per cent creative – looking at designs, working on marketing and PR ideas and so on and 50 per cent ‘business’ looking at numbers, forecasting, strategic planning and so on. I love that split as it lets me flex both sides of myself and I don’t think there are many roles like that. I’m very lucky.
It would have to be something by a strong female band or vocalist, something you can dance to, something that makes you feel good but also has an edge and a soul to it. Something that is not yet 100 per cent mainstream but as soon as you hear it you love it! And something by a London artist as we are very much a London brand. Mabel? Cosima? So much great new music out there!
I want them to feel bold and fearless and sensual and spirited. Bluebella is all about wearing great lingerie to make yourself feel amazing, it doesn’t matter whether anyone else sees it or not. If it’s too pretty to hide, style it up as outerwear and show it off. To us, sensuality is something you own and carry with you – it’s not defined nor awakened by someone else.
Someone once told me that the definition of an entrepreneur is someone who has the ability to constantly fall over and pick themselves up again. I have found this incredibly valuable advice because it highlights that obstacles are an integral part of the journey. They are not something to get overly down about and it’s good to accept that mistakes will be made – but the key thing is to find a solution and learn from them. The most important quality you need is tenacity – so tell yourself to get up and get on with it.