Hannah Escobar, the creative mind behind Covert Behavior, is redefining the lingerie industry with her unique and empowering designs. Inspired by sources outside of fashion, she creates versatile pieces that stand the test of time and allow people to express themselves confidently.
Escobar launched Covert Behavior to make her mark in the relatively untapped lingerie niche. Despite the constraints of designing supportive, comfortable, and body-hugging pieces, she saw an opportunity for her ideas to shine and to create small, manageable designs in her home studio.
With breathtakingly beautiful designs that feature cut-outs and multi-layered silhouettes, Covert Behavior is a celebration of nonconformist femininity. Escobar’s inspiration comes from outside the world of fashion, focusing on techniques and concepts not typically seen in lingerie. Her goal is to create unique pieces that can be layered and worn in various ways, allowing customers to feel great about their choices and showcase their individuality.
The concept of sexiness in the brand is about balancing the unconventional with the appealing. By channeling her ideas into more revealing and flattering cuts, Escobar has found success in blending sex appeal and playfulness in her designs. She is committed to creating pieces that are unique, empowering, and versatile: a fresh take on the art of intimate apparel.
In our exclusive interview with Hannah Escobar, she shares the story behind Covert Behavior, sources of inspiration, and her vision for the brand. Her passion against basicness in the industry has made the label a go-to lingerie destination for those seeking something special
We’re curious! Can you share with us the story behind Covert Behavior and how this unique lingerie brand came to be?
I’ve always liked lingerie, and I realized it’s a niche in fashion that isn’t too overwhelmed by creatives. It’s understandable why not that many designers would be drawn to it, because there is only so much you can do—the pieces have to be supportive, comfortable, and remain flat to the body for the most part… doesn’t leave a huge amount of room to go out-of-the-box with designs.
Not to mention that many consumers aren’t willing to spend that much on stuff to wear under their clothes! So yeah in all honesty, the main reason I’m here is because there is more opportunity for a spotlight on my ideas—that, and, in terms of practicality, the pieces are small and not cumbersome to make in my home studio.
Your lingerie designs are breathtakingly beautiful. What inspired you to venture into the lingerie industry and create pieces that empower the wearer?
I’ve been following the goings-on of the lingerie world since I was like 16, I would say? Shout out to the now-defunct Lingerie Addict blog, which was in my bookmarks bar for a decade. The undergarment community has always read to me as a friendly and supportive kind of place—not a trace of typical cutthroat fashion world vibes to be found. Very welcoming, with many indie brands managing to operate as one-person-show kind of deals.
It felt doable for me to start one myself, especially after working for Clare Bare and seeing how she manages that sort of business. Additionally, I happened to be assisting at Clare Bare at the same time as my friend Celina who was also hoping to start her own lingerie brand—what is now Belle de Nuit, and it seemed less daunting to launch when I had someone close to me trying to do the same thing.
The designs are unique, with cut-outs and multi-layered silhouettes. Where do you draw inspiration from for your collections, and what usually sparks your creativity?
Inspiration for me comes from outside of fashion. One of my other jobs has me way too aware of the whole trends-and-seasons side of the industry and it’s… so pointless in my opinion. If something is interesting, flattering, and presented well, then people will want it.
When I first started CB, my ideas came more from interpreting concrete motifs into underwear—like when I made pieces that were meant to loosely mimic one’s skeleton. Recently, my collections have been more technique based: my latest styles came about from wanting to create pieces with two layers that were entwined with each other via linked cutouts. I don’t really consider my brand to have an overarching throughline, I’m just always striving to make things that I don’t see available elsewhere.
Your lingerie is more than just underwear—it’s an experience! What kind of experience do you want customers to have when wearing your creations, particularly young women?
Something that was a goal for me was to figure out how to let people wear lingerie in a way that is visible to the world but doesn’t come off as trashy. A revelation for me was to put out pieces that can be layered to create the feel of a “full” item of clothing, as in layering my open-front Sumi Turtleneck over a bralette, or wearing my linked open shorts over a pair of briefs. I just want people to feel great about wearing something unique that was made specifically for them, and to be able to wear said piece in a variety of ways.
The concept of sexiness means different things to different people. What does being sexy mean to you, and how do you embody this in your brand’s vision and message?
Sexiness has never been what I’ve been focused on with designs, but over the years I have let it hold more weight in the ideation process. When I first started out, I was in a strange place with my own sexuality in that I was on a birth control pill that made me feel almost totally aexual, and living in that headspace reflected very clearly in my initial styles.
Shockingly to no one except myself at the time, few people were keen on dropping bags on those types of pieces; the weirdness has to be balanced with sexiness, or else it will only be admired from afar and not actually purchased by real people. Once I moved towards channeling my concepts into more revealing and flattering cuts, I started getting orders. The problem is that the skimpier the garment, the smaller of a canvas I have to work on—you will not see any micro tops or thongs coming from me, because I cannot translate anything interesting from my brain onto such teeny tiny pattern pieces.
Out of my creations, I feel like my suspender tanks are the most successful at melding sex appeal and playfulness together in the best and most effortless way.
You’ve already achieved so much with Covert Behavior, but we’re dying to know what’s next! Can you give us a sneak peek of any upcoming collaborations or future plans for the brand?
Covert Behavior will continue to morph based on my personal whims and interests as it always has, and it’s impossible to say what next path my brain will take me on. I very much enjoy my solitude as a designer, so I can’t really see myself collabing with other creatives on pieces any time soon, though. What is new for me is that I’ve very recently launched a sister brand, Frames of Mind, that consists of my eyewear designs. Very similar energy between the two, big-time customer overlap.