I love Only Hearts. As a New York-based retailer, I deeply admire what founder Helena Stuart has accomplished with the innovative shop she founded more than 30 years ago, growing the Only Hearts brand into a unique lifestyle statement. That’s why I just added a range of wonderful pieces from the 2013 collection to the brand assortment available at ThePinkSlip.com. Only Hearts, which Helena describes as inner-outerwear™, is a full range of classifications including intimates, sleepwear, dresses and more, all proudly made in New York City’s garment district. The line is fabulously girly with clean lines, soft colors and cozy fabrics figuring prominently throughout. The girly energy doubled 11 years ago when Helena’s talented daughter Kaya joined the firm and the company officially became a family affair. I recently chatted with Helena about her inspirations, the evolution of the intimates market and the joys of working with family.
Margo Andros: Helena, what inspires your approach to designs?
Helena Stuart: I think most designers would agree to having an inner drive to see the world in their own way. This is the core of what motivates me; I just start from the inside out.
Margo: How have you seen the intimates market change over the years since you founded Only Hearts?
Helena: When I trademarked inner-outerwear in 1980 there was no contemporary lingerie market. A camisole was strictly an underpinning, not to be worn on its own as a top. So things have changed a lot! It’s been wonderful to be a part of this evolution, to see a full circle acceptance and appreciation of showing a little bit of what’s underneath.
Margo: How has the Only Hearts brand evolved over time?
Helena: It’s hard to summarize, briefly, almost 34 years in business, especially manufacturing in New York City’s Garment District! When I started, I was using only black and white, mostly cotton. Currently we use a rainbow’s range of colors, textures, and fabrics from all over the world. Also, the original Only Hearts customer was in her twenties, my age when I founded the business. Over the years we’ve grown together, and her daughter is now another core part of our customer base.
Margo: What key trends is Only Hearts offering for 2013?
Helena: Only Hearts is not really a ‘trendy’ brand. We’re doing a lot of color blocking and patchwork ideas, which haven’t looked fresh to me in a while. Also, a big interest in burlesque / erotica inspired lingerie.
Margo: What’s it like to collaborate with your daughter Kaya?
Helena: It’s a gift! I consider myself to be very lucky not only to see her most days, but to get to know her as a creative thinker and problem solver outside the roles within our (large, traditional, ITALIAN) family.
Margo: You’re indeed very lucky to have her. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with my followers, Helena.
Helena: You’re welcome. It was a pleasure!
Now that we know the inspiration, here’s a look at some of my faves from the Only Hearts assortment at ThePinkSlip.com.
This chemise, in delicious microfiber, fits closely to your body while feeling incredibly soft next to your skin. Delicate lace accentuates the neckline and hem of the chemise, creating sleepwear that looks as good as it feels.
Organic Cotton Skinny Tank
Only Hearts’ signature skinny tank in 100% organic Supima cotton has an easy fit and a wonderful feel. The straps are wide enough to conceal your bra straps, which is perfect for everyday wear. Great for sleeping, playing, wearing out, anyway you wear it it. It’s the perfect closet essential.
Silk Mini Slip
Our favorite Only Hearts mini-slip combines the lusciousness of silk accentuated with beautiful lace detailing for ultimate sexiness. It’s a beautiful layering piece, in an easy-to-wear, under-it-all slip.
Second Skin Strapless Convertible Bra
This strapless bra gives you full coverage with just the right amount of lift and support. Part of Only Hearts’ Second Skin collection, this underwire bra truly feels as soft and as natural as your own skin! It comes complete with a convertible strap, from strapless to one-shoulder to halter-style.
I hope you enjoyed our special peek at the new offerings from Only Hearts. It’s literally a brand with a lot of heart!