Heart to Heart: The mother-daughter team of Helena and Kaya Stuart keep the Only Hearts brand a successful labor of love.

Kaya and Helena Stuart

Kaya and Helena Stuart

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.

Delicious Chemise

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.

Delicious Chemise by Only Hearts

Delicious Chemise by Only Hearts

 

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.

Organic cotton Skinny Tank by Only Hearts

Organic cotton Skinny Tank by Only Hearts

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.

Silk Mini Slip by Only Hearts

Silk Mini Slip by Only Hearts

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.

Strapless Convertible Bra by Only Hearts

Strapless Convertible Bra by Only Hearts

I hope you enjoyed our special peek at the new offerings from Only Hearts. It’s literally a brand with a lot of heart!

XOXO,

Margo

Net Gains: Mesh fabric is a hot lingerie trend that flatters you with a revealing moment.

Lola Haze Signature Camisole - CopyWhen people think of mesh, they typically think sexy. As a design accent it has certainly been used to add an erotic charge to fashion, especially in intimate apparel. When it comes to high-end lingerie, it’s hard to name a brand that doesn’t incorporate some measure of mesh in their collections. However, mesh has benefits beyond looking provocative. It’s a very comfortable fabric to wear in panties since it’s breathable and lightweight. Still, there’s no denying the visual appeal of mesh. Its earliest applications date back to the 1700s when the French started making a hexagonal fabric in the city of Tulle, giving birth to tulle fabric, which was first linked to wedding dresses in 1840 when it was featured in Queen Victoria’s bridal gown. Nylon mesh, which has a functional benefit used in sports apparel, was invented by a director who worked for DuPont and was patented in 1935. Nearly 80 years later, mesh remains a popular trend for lingerie brands using it creatively in all categories of intimates. Here are some of my favorites that we offer on ThePinkSlip.com.

Catherine Teddy by Arianne

Light, sheer, stretch mesh fabric gently hugs your curves in the Catherine Teddy with intricate scalloped eyelet lace trim. Underwire cups offer support and shape, and are trimmed with same scalloped lace. Narrow shoulder straps adjust in back. Thong styling offers minimal coverage in rear.

The Catherine teddy by Arianne

The Catherine teddy by Arianne

Lola Haze Signature Cami

Lola Haze’s most popular and versatile camisole is sleek and sophisticated with a touch of fun shimmer. Layer it under another tank or dress for a sexy peek-a-boo. For full-on sexy, comfy, and cool, wear it as a set with the Signature Cross Hipster.

Lola Haze Signature Camisole

Lola Haze Signature Camisole

Meet me at Midnight Corset Chemise by Samantha Chang

Meet Me at Midnight is a collection of modern undergarments with ultra-feminine lace detailing. This sexy and elegant chemise features wide rose lace imported from Japan, corset seaming and a fitted body with self-lined cups.

Samantha Chang Meet me at Midnight Mesh Slip

Samantha Chang Meet me at Midnight Mesh Slip

Delirious French brief by Eberjey

The Delirious French Brief is sexy-cute in a low-rise designed in sheer decorative mesh with delicate edging at the waist and legs. It’s extremely comfortable with a “barely there” feeling, making it a great “no panty lines” option for those that want a thong alternative or for someone who likes full back coverage.

Eberjey Delirious French Brief

Eberjey Delirious French Brief

OnGossamer’s signature hip boyshort

OnGossamer is a well-named brand, offering lighter-than-air undies like the Signature Hip Boyshort. It’s constructed in a seamless superfine sheer mesh trimmed with their signature delicate double edge. It’s delectably comfortable to wear.

OnGossamer hip boy short

OnGossamer hip boy short

From camisoles to panties, mesh is a sexy and comfortable look you can enjoy in degrees that suit your personal taste. It all depends on how much you dare to bare!

XOXO,

Margo