Who's That Gal: Stefanie Mnayarji of Luxxie Boston
Our February Who's That Gal interviewee is Stefanie Mnayarji. Stefanie is Boston's new favorite girlboss. She founded Luxxie Boston last year to reboot the slip and revolutionize lingerie!
Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you find yourself going from the male-dominated finance world to starting your own lingerie brand?
While working my way up the corporate ladder, I was appalled by the lack of options for foundation wear for women who wanted a solution that was functional, comfortable and sexy. Why do I have to compromise one of the three? What if I do not want to wear the sausage case of shapewear? I found it difficult to breakthrough the glass ceiling if my legs were tied together. My frustration led me to start Luxxie Boston and introduce a garment that properly services modern women. Today’s woman is reaching unprecedented levels and cannot be held back by wardrobe discomfort.
We really like your motto, “Don’t reshape yourself, reshape the world.” Can you tell us more about this motto and why you feel it is important for a woman to feel sexy but not restrained?
Men never have to think about what they’re wearing. They almost never compromise comfort to look good. Women do not need anything holding us back, especially something we love, like our clothing. Luxxie helps people feel comfortable, confident and sexy focused. When you are busy with global domination, as our Luxxie lady is, not a single second of your day should be wasted thinking of the discomfort of your clothing.
How did you go about turning your idea into a wearable piece?
It was an extensive process. By far the hardest part was finding the right fabric; it had to be low maintenance but still luxuriously smooth. I wanted our garment to be the something women would be excited to put on first thing in the morning and the last thing they would take off at night.
To do this we had to optimize our silk content for breathability and insulation. We wanted to create a four season garment, which was tricky. I mean the weather in Boston is always challenging, its either sweltering hot or freezing cold, so we needed to find the blend that was most comfortable all year round. We didn’t want anyone to sacrifice comfort in the process of looking good.
How did you go about learning about the textile engineering process in order to make the perfect fabric?
We took a very scientific approach to fashion design. We worked with faculty at MIT, FIT, and Parsons to develop find a material that was washable, breathable, durable, and provide a great fit and lift. In the end, we created our own (patent-pending) material.
Did you always have the mindset of wanting to own your own business?
Entrepreneurship was always intriguing to me, but I never took it seriously until I found my passion for Luxxie. I love everything about Luxxie. My absolute worst day at Luxxie is still better than my best day at my old job. My only regret is not starting this sooner!
Another interesting tidbit is that you manufacture in the USA. Was American-made a goal for the company from the beginning? If so, why?
Yes, this is not cheaply manufactured polyester. Our garments are silk based and completely handcrafted in the U.S. Our artisans in Los Angeles are very experienced and take lot of time to make them perfectly. By manufacturing domestically, we know everyone is paid fairly for an honest day’s work.
Boston generally isn’t known for fashion companies, though we have noticed a few companies starting to pop up in the area like Ball & Buck and Ministry of Supply. How was starting in Boston affected your brand and growth? With it’s history of the textile industry, do you think Boston has a future in fashion like New York or Los Angeles?
I get this question all the time. Boston is more than just the location of our main operations, it is a part of our trademarked brand - We are Luxxie Boston and for a good reason. This truly is the greatest city in America - it has a strong history and culture, but still reinventing itself, innovating and on the cutting edge of technology - that’s exactly what I wanted to do with the slip.
What advice do you have for someone looking to start their own fashion brand?
Take a scientific approach to design – speak to engineers and material scientists, beta test on a large sample size before you get caught up in the fashion scene.
We hear you have a sale going on. What’s the deal?
Use the code VDAYFORME to treat yourself to 15% off at Luxxie this Valentines Day!
Grab Huntress Green, Burgundy and Midnight Navy because we are discontinuing these colors to make room for our new spring collection! Keep an eye out for those soon.
What is your go-to Luxxie piece?
Lately, I have been wearing the bralette slip the most. My Luxxie is feeling a little tight these days because I am 8 months pregnant! The bralette slip still provides the support I need and is very forgiving for my changing body.
Which piece of lingerie should every gal own and/or invest in?
A Luxxie slip! Why not be draped in silk all day? You will not be able to imagine life without one!
Favorite restaurant in Boston?
Bistro du Midi - everything they do is perfect.
Who is your Inspiration?
My hero is the ultimate unprecedented woman: my Teta (Arabic for ‘grandmother’).
My Teta taught me tough can be elegant too. Growing up as a young woman in Syria and Lebanon, life was never easy for a lady that had strong opinions. She worked, made dinner every night from scratch and raised a family of 6 through civil war and eventually migrated to the United States. She was strong, fierce, yet loving, classy and always well composed. She defined femininity for me.
She wore a slip with her dress or skirt every single day of her life. Whenever I put on my Luxxie Boston Slip, it is really a homage to my Teta.