Natalie Steiner is the entrepreneur behind Tashi Lingerie, a new e-ecommerce site dedicated to contemporary-priced foundations, lingerie, loungewear, and accessories. What sets Tashi apart is the distinctive online shopping environment it creates. Steiner has a unique background that includes not only holding a B.A. in Fashion Buying and Merchandising from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, but a certification as a Holistic Nutrition Counselor in Ayurvedic Medicine at New York’s Bioticare Institute. The founder has successfully fused her experience in all facets of the fashion industry (publishing, textile sourcing, showrooms) with the lifestyle elements and tools she has picked up from studying Ayurvedic Medicine to help women feel more comfortable when shopping for their intimates. We spoke to Steiner about her go-to brands, current lingerie trends, some de-stressing tips, and more.
tFS: What are your go-to lingerie brands?
Natalie Steiner: I have many, but I would say Eberjey has the greatest loungewear (specifically their eco-dream line – my mom even has a set!), and Huit has an amazing fit and quality to their bra and panty sets.
tFS: What have been the most popular styles and labels on Tashi?
NS: It’s hard to say. I have actually seen a bunch of everything sell, although it really depends on the customer and what they’re looking for. Women that are really craving something sexy love pieces from Clo. Those who are looking for loungewear and comfortable chic pieces have gravitated towards Eberjey.
tFS: Can you tell us about some of the trends you’re seeing in the lingerie world?
NS: Innerwear as outwear is a huge trend right now on the runways, specifically for Fall 2010. Convertible pieces that can be worn in the bedroom can also be worn to brunch, to cocktail hour, and even to the office. Bandeaus under blazers, lace camisoles with jeans as evening wear, as well as comfortable cotton pieces that can be worn to bed as well as the gym. I have women that are buying lace chemises for lingerie as well as a slip underneath their wrap dress for work. Consumers are willing to pay the price for quality lingerie and loungewear, but they’re also looking for hybrid functionality.
tFS: Are more people buying eco-consciously?
NS: Absolutely. People are looking more for quality cottons, fabrics that are derived from bamboo, hemp, and other natural knits and fabrics. Not only is it earth friendly, but the feel of organic cottons and silks against the skin is much more comfortable. Consumers are exceedingly more interested in environmental issues. It’s not just about the fabric anymore, but where it’s made, how it’s made, etc. Luva Huva has great cami sets, and the owner uses end of the line fabrics that otherwise goes to waste as well as organic cottons. She has been a great seller at Tashi.
Q: How have you been able to differentiate yourself from other lingerie destinations on the web?
NS: So far, I haven’t seen anything out there like Tashi Lingerie. We’re all about catering to the inner essence of a woman. That means we want her to think of what she is feeling that day, what can spice up her mood, or soothe her after a hectic work week. From the opening page of the website which portrays a tranquil, yet sultry emotion to the luscious gift box upon delivery, we’re creating a luxurious experience from start to finish.
tFS: How has your background helped you with your online venture?
NS: FIT gave me the great business sense for the fashion industry. I received a degree in International Trade and Marketing, which gave me the tools to think about where a product is coming from and how it is sourced, as well as cater to my customers. I was also fortunate to have a wonderful mentor – my grandmother who taught me how to sew and embroider. That also entails paying close attention to the details that make a beautiful garment also a quality piece. That experience created a passion for textiles, laces, satins, and anything with texture. That’s where it all began!
tFS: Given your background in Holistic Nutrition do you have any quick tips for stressed out fashionistas?
NS: Ah! There are so many! I will give you three that I follow religiously.
#1 Hot water with lemon before your coffee or breakfast to cleanse your digestive tract.
#2 Anasura yoga 2-3 times a week to realign the physical and emotional kinks after those stressful workdays!
#3 An essential oil combination for sleepy time – Orange, Cardamom and Jasmine to calm and sooth the mind.
The word ‘holistic’ incorporates all aspects of the body, mind and spirit. That includes what you eat, drink, how you physically take care of your body as well as the colors and aromas around you.