How We Find the Best Bras: Interview with Brava's Head Buyer
It is an understatement to say that the wider fashion and lingerie industry does not cater to all women. As disappointing as it is, many women today have felt the need to accept inequalities that sacrifice their comfort and confidence. Brava was born from the idea that D+ women shouldn't need to compromise fit or fashion to find themselves comfortable, supportive and stylish lingerie and swimwear.
Today I'm chatting to Brava head buyer, Rachel Johns, to discuss what goes into finding the perfect D+ cup bras for the women of Australia, and what she considers when looking for bras to cater to a diverse group of women.
Renae: There's obviously a huge number of things to consider when choosing the perfect bras to be a part of our inventory. What are the three main factors you look for when selecting bras to stock at Brava?
Rachel: There are so many things to be considered, it is hard to narrow it down to just three! If I had to, I would say:
- The product needs to be the best of its type on the market. Because we carry over 100 different sizes, we hold a lot of stock on the shop floor. Each piece we bring in has to be the best in its field: i.e. the best T-Shirt Bra, the softest wirefree, or the most supportive sports bra!
- What are our customers asking for? Our customers are at the heart of everything we do. Brava exists because women with a larger cup size weren’t catered for at other stores, so our goal is to meet and exceed their expectations, whether it's for a practical everyday bra, or a bra that is a work of art. We hunt these down and deliver these to our customer wherever we can.
- Fit, quality and engineering. A D+ customer has different needs than an A cup. We seek bras that don't just cover the breast, but lift, support and shape. The fabric, finishes and structure are imperative to the final product. We are searching for and sourcing excellent quality bras that last and are comfortable.
Renae: What is your position on buying for D+ cup and Up, and what have you learned from being the head buyer at Brava?
Rachel: There is a view in our society - slowly changing - which is that anything above a D cup is massive. This is not only among ‘outsiders’ but sometimes within the industry itself. Often we are working with our suppliers to change long held notions of what a larger bust looks like. It is really important that this view continues to change so that bras fit the customers, not the other way around. Now, if only we could do this for clothes, too!
Renae: What do you find challenging about sourcing bras for D+ cup and Up?
Rachel: One of the biggest challenges is that many of our suppliers who specialise in lingerie for a larger cup are in Europe and are designing for customers living in a totally different season. So when it comes to currency, logistics, sizing and seasonal trends, we are not always aligned. We love working with our Australian and Kiwi Brands and look forward to growing this part of our offering. Our customers embrace locally designed and produced brands, and it aligns with our mission to purchase sustainable products and have a positive impact on our global community.
Renae: Is there anything you've learned from your role that you believe is important to share with women?
Rachel: So many women that visit us are worried about their body. I would love them to know that they are fine, their body is fine, and we are fine with you the way you are now. Please don’t wait until you look a certain way before being nice to yourself today. If you have fallen in love with that completely impractical but gorgeous set in delicate lace, go for it, embrace it.
Thank you, Rachel, for giving us some amazing insight into the world of buying for D+ cup and up! We are so incredibly lucky and honoured to be a part of a company that prioritises women’s comfort and confidence. We encourage all women to get fitted! Do not settle for anything less, as your perfect bra is waiting!
Renae is one of Brava's Customer Care Wizards and Expert Bra Fitters, also on a mission to help women find the best fitting lingerie of their dreams.