Designer Interviews: Hanna Broer of Hanna Broer Design

Hanna Broer's underwear, bralette, and bandeau designs have been favourites here at Luvly since we first introduced her designs in the Spring of 2014. Her pieces make great stocking stuffers for the ladies on your list, and they come in a great holiday red dot fabric, pictured below. 

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L: How long have you been designing clothing?

H:  I started designing clothing for myself around 2004 when I was about 14, and have been doing it ever since. I started my own company making mostly underwear and some clothing in 2011.

L:    What got you started in clothing design?

H: My mother taught me to sew with fun projects during childhood, and gave me free reign on her sewing machine when I was a teenager.

What kept me going then is that I simply failed to see how bad I was! My confidence somehow couldn’t be broken. My mom would try to teach me the right way to do something, and I didn’t want to hear it. My dad would notice how the edges weren’t finished. I didn’t care. I remember one tank top I made, a tube with uneven straps. I’m sure I wasn’t intentional about its lopsidedness, but once I’d made it, I just attributed it to style. I wore my clothes proudly, without a care what others might think. That confidence is what got me seriously started. Over time, I have lost some of the blind confidence, but real skill, and a more critical eye have come as a balance.

L: What made you decide to start designing underwear?

H: It all started with the mid-rise panties with the wide band. I was having a creative day with a coworker, and was wearing loose fitting jeans. So loose I needed to wear shorts between my pants and my underwear, which were too many layers. I thought about men wearing loose jeans, and how their boxers sometimes peek out, but at least they were covered. I wished there could be something like that for women. Something to hide an inelegant plumber’s crack. So I decided to make myself some undies with a wide band, to cover up, and take on the buffer role of the boxer or brief. I started with a plaid, to make it really faux-boxer. My friend who had been sewing with me cleverly dubbed them the “Foxer”. I really liked them, so I made more, and more, and added some new styles, and made more and more.

L: What do you like about designing underwear?

H: I’m a very tactile designer, and I like designing things that feel great. Undergarments are the first thing you put on, and the closest to your skin. They’re sometimes worn for others, but they are most of the time to please you, both in their look and feel. I like making those basics, items that feel great as a part of everyday life.

L:  How do you determine the sizes of your underwear?

H: It usually starts with a size small, then I grade up by adding 5-6 cm all around per size, and some in length.

L: How do you choose your fabrics and where do you get them?

H: I’ve been somewhat limited in terms of prints, which I love to use because stretch jersey fabric is not yet very widely available in organic or eco-friendly materials. Other that sustainability, I choose by feel, colors, and prints. I’m very picky about the weight, thickness and stretch of the fabric. At the moment I’m using mostly bamboo-rayon/spandex and organic cotton/spandex. While in pursuit of good eco-friendly prints, I use lots of polka dots and stripes.

I buy most of my fabric in Montreal from Télio and Globetex, and some online, from suppliers in the United States.

L: What are some of the challenges of designing underwear?

H: They’re small, and they don’t take much fabric, but they do take a lot of work. Almost as much as some regular garments, and the bralettes can be very finicky work.

L: Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

H: The way I design is usually very personally motivated. It often comes from asking: “Who do I want to be?”

I determine what to make with that question driving me, along with practicality and feel. Especially with my underwear, comfort is at the top of the list of importance. 

We couldn't agree more that underwear needs to be comfortable, and Hanna's pieces fit the bill! Below you'll see a sneak peek of what we have in store at the moment!