In episode 85, design agency founder and intimate apparel brand co-founder Kristen Anderson reveals the inner workings of the lingerie and swim industry. Kristen speaks from her experience as an in-house designer, freelancer, intimate apparel design agency owner of KRSTN NDRSN, and co-founder of the intimates brand Iteration sharing the lessons she’s learned and the new innovations she’s excited about.
Kristen has been designing apparel for over 13 years and has built a strong reputation for her innovative products, technical and fit expertise, and deep understanding of the end user. Her wide-ranging design skills have been sought out by powerhouse brands and fast-growing start-ups such as Adore Me, Sheertex, Knickey, Lane Bryant, and Victoria’s Secret. Kristen currently runs KRSTN NDRSN LLC, an intimate + swimwear design studio started in 2019, designing and developing garments for DTC start-ups, VC-funded brands, and independent labels.
As the founder and CEO of iteration, an apparel brand started by Kristen, she aims to leverage her intimate knowledge of apparel design, fit, and functionality to create better-made, more sustainable garments from conception to customer. Her extensive industry experience in intimates has allowed her to identify critical gaps in the market and opportunities to introduce innovative solutions. Kristen is passionate about sustainable fashion, thoughtfully engineered design, and constantly improving and enhancing the entire customer experience. She believes there is an opportunity to do better for the customer, the planet, and the factories.
Kristen was the first designer hired at Adore Me, where she contributed to a team that increased sales from $5 million in 2013 to nearly $84 million by 2016. During Kristen’s tenure at Adore Me, it was the fastest-growing lingerie start-up in the United States. From 2016 to 2019, Kristen was the lead swimwear designer at SwimUSA. Kristen’s career started in 2010 at Bennett & Company, where she worked on the Lane Bryant, Victoria’s Secret, and Hanes brands. She earned her BS degree studying Design and Merchandising at Framingham State University, where she graduated with honors. She won the Young Alumni Achievement Award from FSU in 2016 and was accepted into the Project Entrepreneur program by UBS and Rent the Runway in 2018.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- How Kristen got into the intimates, lingerie, and swim niche
- Kristen’s perspective on the industry having held in-house, freelance, and brand founder roles in her career.
- Why her first brand never launched
- The benefits of an outside perspective
- How Kristen and her co-founder have co-created their brand, Iteration’s, products with a community of customers
- The biggest lingerie pain points Kristen hears from women
- The software that is inspiring Kristen’s designs and business right now
- The expensive lesson Kristen and her co-founder learned while visiting a factory in Sri Lanka
- The speed of start-up life and why the direction actually matters more
People and resources mentioned in this episode:
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