The ever-evolving world of fashion has welcomed a new era of body inclusivity, with more and more brands acknowledging the diverse spectrum of women’s bodies. Lingerie, in particular, has seen a shift towards a more realistic and positive direction, thanks to the efforts of trailblazing startups. Among these disruptors is Mane Intimates, a brand that has made it its mission to not only elevate the lingerie drawer but also to inspire women to embrace their truest, most confident, and authentic selves.
Hailing from the Gold Coast of Australia, Mane Intimates combines unique designs with sustainable materials to positively impact both its customers and the environment. The brand takes inspiration from the ’60s to ’90s vintage lingerie, offering timeless garments that exude self-love and acceptance. The driving force behind Mane Intimates is its founder and creator, Maddison Neville, whose journey as a model and film photographer has fueled her passion for empowering women through creative expression and vulnerability.
At only 25 years old, Maddison Neville has already made a name for herself in the world of modeling and film photography. Her experiences in the industry have led her to see the beauty in everything and ignited her passion for artistic expression. After years of freelance modeling, Maddison decided to take up film photography, which allowed her to capture raw, vulnerable, and real emotions in her subjects. This newfound creative outlet eventually paved the way for the birth of Mane Intimates.
In a recent interview, Maddison shared her vision for the brand and her commitment to helping women see themselves in a different light. With Mane Intimates, she aims to bring a whole new wave of self-love and acceptance to the lingerie industry by creating one-of-a-kind pieces that celebrate the unique beauty of every woman.
Hey Maddison! Can you share the story behind Mane Intimates’ and what inspired the creation of the brand?
I have always known from a young age that I wanted to create a brand. I always had an interest in fashion and the creative side itself. About two years ago, I lost a really close friend very suddenly and unexpectedly. Through months of grief, I had a thought that I wanted to do something to make her proud. She was always so supportive of me starting my own brand, and I thought, “Why not put all these emotions into something positive?” Her name was Chelsea and that’s where my first set was born.
How have your experiences in artistic modeling and photography informed your approach to designing one-of-a-kind lingerie pieces that promote self-love and acceptance?
I think from all of my years of modeling and photography, I know what makes myself and other people feel confident. I think most women would agree with me when I say that a matching underwear set always puts a little pep in your step. That is why I leaned towards designing lingerie – because I want more people to feel beautiful and confident in their own skin.
Lingerie is very intimate because it is the first piece of clothing that touches your body. Prior to launching the label, what was your personal experience with lingerie and underwear?
I have always loved lingerie because of the way it makes me feel. However, something I noticed about almost all the lingerie I would purchase is that it would be worn for a max of five minutes, then would be put away and not really worn again. So when creating Mane I wanted to design pieces that were timeless and wearable for everyday occasions. Yet I still wanted to incorporate little details—like the ruffles in the Chelsea set—that make you feel extra sexy and feminine.
I read that your line was inspired by the lingerie styles of the ’60s and ’90s. What elements do you find yourself pulling from the most, and how do you blend these influences with modern trends to create timeless garments?
I find I pull a lot of inspiration from film photography of those eras. There’s something so beautifully soft and elegant about the lingerie and the way it was captured of those times. As I am designing something, I am always thinking about the campaign story I will tell with the pieces and how I can make it relatable to fit into people’s current lives. However, I also want to keep sustainability at the forefront of the brand – so I tend to go for materials that look similar to vintage styles but are more eco-friendly.
Can you give us a glimpse into the creative process behind each collection, from initial concept to final production?
For sure. So as I start to have an idea, I will collect as much inspiration as I can. I will save lots of images of designs I like so I can give my designer the best possible image of what I am after. Then I communicate with her on all the specific little details and she will come back to me with something called a CAD. This is a computer-aided design and comes in the form of a super basic drawing.
I then will either alter anything and we go through that process until I am completely happy with the design. Once approved, my designer will then create something called a Tech Pack. This has all the very intimate details about the design, including all measurements, materials, colors, photo inspo, and technical drawings. Then that gets sent off to my manufacturer in Bali, and we start the sampling process. Which, let me tell you, is a very long and annoying process haha. It has taken me over a year and a half now to finalize my next set that will be launching soon.
For your debut offerings, we get introduced to fun elements like ruffled edges and gold accents—how did it feel to finally share your creations with the world?
Well, following on from what I said about how long the sampling process took, it felt amazing to finally get my vision out into the world. When I first saw someone wearing my set, it was the weirdest and most euphoric feeling. I was like, “Hey, that’s mine! But someone else owns it too now.” Haha, so strange, but I loved it.
Out of curiosity, what was your overall take on lingerie growing up and how has it changed since you’ve stepped into the industry?
Lingerie wasn’t something I ever really knew about until later in life. Like all fashion, it’s ever-evolving, and there are so many different types and styles constantly being released. I feel like personally, my taste in lingerie has changed from Honey Birdette kind of style because it used to be the only real established brand, to now I prefer more comfortable, wearable, feminine pieces.
Lastly, how do you want women to feel when they put on your garments?
When women put on my pieces, I want them to look at themselves and see how beautiful they really are. I want them to feel like a confident badass that could conquer the world because, with that mindset, you can move mountains.