It takes some vision and a lot of passion and energy to make an impact in the lingerie market and Kaila Methven has risen to the occasion. Methven trained in the art of design at École supérieure des arts et techniques de la mode, or ESMOD, and gained a Masters at the International Fashion Academy, Paris, with extended training from Polymoda Fashion School in Florence.
After investing her time as a student of fashion in Europe, Kaila decided it was time to move back to Los Angeles for the next phase of her fashion journey; building her Madame Methven fashion lingerie empire. Her goal was not merely to create items that women would wear to bed, but rather to create lingerie that are powerful fashion statements in their own right.
Kaila Methven’s creations for the Madam Methven brand are designed to be worn by clientele of different shapes and sizes and include ready-to-wear fashion as well as haute couture. There are elegant designs that flatter the female form and luxurious pieces with prices to match that when worn are akin to wearing fitted forms of art.
For our intimate interview with Kaila we wanted to find out more about how and why she started in the fashion industry. We also wanted to gain more insight on what it takes to make an exciting dream of building a lingerie empire come true.
MODE: How do you think training at the Fashion Institute ESMOD ( École supérieure des arts et techniques de la mode) impacted your outlook on the world of fashion? Kaila: Completing my studies in the capital of fashion really gave me an insight into the design world. ESMOD is where I learnt how to draft pattern pieces but it’s also where I found my love for draping. Draping is what helped me bring my couture collection Madame Methven in to fruition.
MODE: When did you get the inspiration to create your brand Madame Methven and why did you decide to go in the direction of lingerie? Kaila: I’ve always had an eye for lingerie, I have a keen interest in commercial and luxe lingerie pieces on a fashion and personal level. The inspiration for my Madame Methven line originated from the idea of falling in love. I created a collection inspired by the mythological and sexual history of Roman and Greek goddesses. I added a modern twist of Downtown LA with the incredible love stories of Greek Mythology. My entire brand is about falling in love again and again. After creating my first collection and seeing the response I got from it I knew there was a niche in the market for my lingerie brand. I enjoy making lingerie pieces to empower women of all shapes and sizes.
MODE: There are already many players in the lingerie industry as indeed there are in most areas in fashion. How did you approach the challenge of differentiating your brand from the crowd? Kaila: My brand sells a product and a service; when my customers purchase my lingerie pieces they’re also purchasing an experience. Our customers are women looking to have an exclusive sensual experience with their spouses. Women who want to feel luxurious whatever the occasion. Our customers are usually women exploring their sexuality and many desires from the ages of 18 and up. Our type of customers come from a range of demographics from Los Angeles to Shanghai, Paris to Dubai. Our products are sold internationally online, and are made in US.
MODE: Another major aspect of creating any new product or service is deciding how to set the pricing and very importantly who your clientele will be. Did you find this process challenging or easy, and were you inspired to go for the more expensive price range? Kaila: I like to think my fashion label has something for everyone, I have my high end label Madame Methven for people with higher disposable incomes, and also a commercial range which is more affordable. Overall everyone has the prospect of feeling sexy and powerful.
MODE: What would you say draws your average clientele to your brand? Kaila: Madame Methven is for all women who are open to new experiences. It’s the idea of being able to purchase an item knowing their sensual desires will always be fulfilled. With every piece, there is always a new foundation to limitless experiences. This gives women the opportunity to determine their power and sensual persuasion, exploring the manipulation of artistic lingerie.
MODE: People come in all shapes and sizes. Are you able to accommodate prospective clients with varied body shapes or do you have a more narrow range in which your designs are focused? Kaila: I fully appreciate that people come in all shapes and sizes and that should be celebrated. My pieces are stocked from sizes XXS – XXL.
MODE: In these days of powerful social media platforms business founders still have the choice of either staying in the background or actively harnessing the technology and even being a major social media face of their brand. Where do you place yourself in the spectrum of social media use and why? Kaila: I’m my own Brand Ambassador, Model. I’m a Talent. it’s my company I run the show; its Madame Methven.
MODE: What other fashion designers or celebrities inspire you and your creativity and how? Kaila: I have a lot of admiration and respect for Emilio Pucci, John Galliano and Jean Charles de Caster Ibajac. I’m really impressed by how each of those designers take risks, show emotions and express how they feel through the art of design. They’re excelling because they’re out of the ordinary, they don’t follow the same procedures that other brands do. This is something I highly respect because it takes a lot of courage and fortitude to stand out from the crowd.
MODE: How would you describe your own personal fashion style? Kaila: Black and beautiful, my entire wardrobe is black…. Elegant, Classy, To the Point….
MODE: Your mother passing away at the age of 14 must have been traumatic for you. How do you think it may have affected your outlook on what is important in life? Kaila: It turned me away from what I didn’t have to what I could create and, voila, I made an Empire of Art.
MODE: What do you do to relax when you’re not busy at work or promoting your brand? Kaila: Although I’m always working and I love it, I do tend to go to the gym and have social night outs with my friends for down time as it’s very important to have a healthy balance in such a demanding job.
MODE: How do you see your brand developing over the next few years? Kaila: I’m the next Donatella.