I discovered NALU one day randomly on Instagram. Someone from my list of friends liked it and it kept appearing on my ‘discover’ page. I was instantly hooked on their beautifully curated Insta feed and already trying to decide what I want to order. It so happened that on a cold Sunday morning, not long after that, a girl walked in the store I was working at the time with a big box. I instantly saw the NALU branded scotch tape and got so excited I just went there and told her I knew her brand, loved it and tried to take the box away from her so I could start digging in. That was the start of beautiful relationship, with me waiting for every new piece like waiting for Xmas morning.
In anticipation of the new drop, I asked Sonia a few questions about NALU which you can read below:
Hello Sonia! Let’s start with what made you decide to start this brand. What inspired you to get to where you are now?
Hi there! It all started with stepping out of a 10-year corporate life. I was a Marketing Manager for Central and Southern Europe in a department called Creative Excellence at that time, so building my own brand was always a motivating thought. The things we were doing were wonderful, but something was missing.
I had this internal conflict that many people probably have: leaving a good comfortable life, but feeling there is more to all of this. I felt I had the energy and the curiosity to do something edgier than a corporate job. I didn’t know what, but I knew that, unless I put myself out there, I would never find out. And it was on that first day that the idea came to my mind, down to a very high level of details.
Please explain a little bit about the brand’s concept.
There is nothing new about simplification. Humans have always been wired to seek less complexity and greater ease. This need has recently created movements that advocate decluttering and uncomplicating our lives. The human eye is starting to seek clean design and to recognize and demand the high quality of objects more than before. This is the new luxury.
It is in this existing context that NALU comes and says “You don’t need all the life enhancements. What you have is enough. You are enough.” Luxury is not about how much you pay for it, it’s how exquisite it makes you feel. It is about how “clean” and smooth your experience is.
Hopefully, this helps us feel a bit more at ease with ourselves and our lives and enjoying what is truly essential to us.
Why just underwear and not other garments?
The aim is to have a great product out there: high quality, excellent fabrics, clean design. And I want all my energy to go into that, rather than into creating a wide range of “not-so-bad” pieces.
It is a minimalist approach to production, in a way. Or a “minimum viable product” strategy, as the tech start-ups call it. But it is also just a start. I’m currently learning and planning.
When I was growing up, push-up bras and very lacy underwear were all the rage, why do you think women nowadays prefer the more simple, minimalistic way?
You must be much younger than me, because these standards have followed me into my adult life. It might have been just a preference lead by what was available. It’s not only that there is more choice now, but women have also started questioning these standards, demanding comfort that doesn’t sacrifice design or sensuality. Sensuality is being redefined also. There is definitely a switch in this industry.
I’m not trying to “convert the uncovertible”. NALU is here for those looking for an alternative. And I am surprised each day how many of us are looking and questioning.
What makes NALU stand out from fast fashion brands that we usually find in a mall?
Where do I start?
First of all, NALU is not fashion. We are not competing with anything that speaks trends. NALU makes essential pieces of contemporary lingerie with very quiet aesthetics. We aim to make high quality everyday basics.
Also, our pieces are produced locally, in a factory in Cluj, Romania. This means we keep the money in the local economy, we contribute to a production business that creates jobs for Romanians, we pay taxes here and it all goes to the local budgets.
Do you have any more designs planned for the future?
Starting this June, new pieces will be launched a few times a year. Since we’re not a fashion brand, there will be no seasonal collections. Whenever we have a great idea or see a need, we’ll try to put the product out there. We’re experimenting.
This June a few essentials are being launched: we are introducing nude as a must for summer, organic cotton and a little surprise: our interpretation of sexy that doesn’t involve lace.
Where can people find NALU pieces and stay in touch with more news about the brand?
All NALU pieces can be ordered online at www.naluunderwear.com. Shipping is free and we handle the returns also, so, in a way, it’s like trying them on at home.
For those who are more into offline shopping, a small selection is available at Beans & Dots and The Urbanist in Bucharest, Romania.
News comes first to those who subscribed to our list on the bottom of our homepage, it’s a close circle of NALU friends that is getting bigger each day.
And finally, do you take all the photos you post on Instagram yourself?
Yes, except from the ones with the models which are taken by photographers, they’re all taken by me.
Thank you Sonia!
Can’t wait for the new drop!