Goodbye, old friend.
My first bra was lime green and white, cotton, wirefree, with thin straps and light padding. I wore that bra everyday until it started to fall apart and my mother insisted that I go get myself something better. It was with a heavy heart (literally) that I wore my favorite bra for the last time before throwing it in the garbage (conventional wisdom did not favor a bra burial).
There's a special type of buyers' remorse that is reserved for when your clothes start to attack you. The next bra I purchased was tight, pushed up too much and dug into my rib cage. I took it off after the first day to find deep red marks under the band. I was mildly disturbed but thought, hey this is what everyone else is wearing so it can't be that bad.
It gets complicated.
I'm a UI designer, and don't know the first thing about manufacturing clothing. So I decided to educate myself, and took a 3-day apparel production seminar at Apparel Arts in San Francisco. There I learned about the entire process of producing a garment: sketching, design, technical drawing, grading, prototypes and final production. It was a great learning experience and I set out to find factories that would help me manufacture this bra. I called a couple of local factories only to be quoted astronomical prices. A bra is one of the most complex garments you can make, it consists of 8-10 different pieces that need to be made in several sizes.
I simplified the sizing to just 4 sizes based on clothing sizes, and I broadened my search to India and China. I got advice from a couple of fashion designer friends that China was the place to go for lingerie production. Not knowing where to start, I searched Alibaba for wirefree bras and contacted a few manufacturers. I Skyped with a couple of them, only to realize that the language barrier was too great. In parallel, I posted on a manufacturing group on LinkedIn and was contacted by an agent based in Hong Kong, an Australian man named Doug who had been in this business for the past 20 years. I sent Doug a sketch of what I wanted, and had my first samples in a few weeks. This project was becoming a reality!
The Big Bang
And then there was the question of fabric. I started researching popular prints, and settled on the galaxy print - perfect for the first bra, symbolizing the big bang that led to the creation of the universe. I found an image of the Carina nebula from the European Southern Observatory and got permission to use it to print on fabric. We got custom fabric printed, finalized the sizing and grading, signed off on samples and began production early 2014. My shipment finally arrived a few weeks later, nearly 2 years after I first thought of the idea.
SimpleBra is lightly padded and wirefree. It is made with lightweight fabric that is 95% rayon, 5% spandex, and can be easily washed by hand and dries in a few hours.
In the news
A feature about Madhavi Jagdish and SimpleBra in the Deccan Chronicle, a prominent newspaper in Bangalore, India.
SimpleBra was featured in gift bags for nominees of the 21st Annual SAG Awards. A partial list of nominees that received a SimpleBra include Reese Witherspoon, Ariel Winter, Julianne Moore, Viola Davis, Patricia Arquette, Jessica Lange, Peter Dinklage, Steve Buscemi, Helena Bonham Carter and Dot Jones.
Stylish. Wirefree. Comfortable.
SimpleBra was created out of a need for comfort and style. Here's to being comfortable always!