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May 06, 2020
Joyita Banerjee, Founder and Chief Designer of The Underworld.co has worked in the advertising, creative, and publishing industries, before, starting her own underwear label.
It was rather unusual for Joyita to have quit her job, but an early morning dream was all the push she needed to dive headfirst into a venture she knew bare-ly anything about.
How did it start?Underworld was conceived in a dream, this might sound ‘crazy’ but if it wasn’t for the madness I wouldn’t have had the guts to pull this off. The domain name was booked that very first day! I started working on the branding almost immediately. The idea was worked on for around a couple of months alongside my job at that time, but Underworld needed my undivided attention and I gave it a go--Quit my job, and pulled out all my savings to bankroll it.
Why undies?From a design point of view, I found myself quite disappointed at the lack of creativity in the underwear industry. I felt there was a huge gap, ‘oomph’ had been sold for years but not fun! Underwear is something one wears all the time, (well, almost) and women ought to have the option to wear something fun.
Why should one pick an Underworld garment?Underworld creates happiness and comfort for women, it’s not just a piece of garment.Underwear has remained practical and functional for men for years but for women, it fluctuates from highly uncomfortable risqué panties to run-of-the-mill prints. Underworld.co is here to offer ‘wearable art’ apart from performing its ritualistic function of wrapping you in comfort.Sustainable practices and conscious design is also a cornerstone of our brand. We are constantly trying to implement better practices. Being a sustainable boutique brand really drives costs up but we want to mold our brand into one from the very nascent stage. Our choice of fabric, printing technique, packaging material, and the cycle of a collection, everything, is a conscious choice.
What’s unusual about the prints?All the prints of both our collections are stemmed from fun (pun/bun) ideas–they are naughty and are aimed to make women giggle. We are on an endeavor to change the ‘unmentionables’ to ‘statement panties’. They all are also Typography-Integrated-Placement-Prints, which pose a great challenge in production but we can proudly say that there is nobody else doing this, yet, in the domestic or international market. The art comes and sits quietly on the bum.
What all do you make apart from panties?We make functional lounge-wear, everything is easy and breezy to wear.We’ve recently introduced onesies for infants too.My personal favourite garment, after the undies, is the robe from the first collection. It tapped on a highly relatable problem of putting on “decent clothes" (read: hook on a bra) each morning, before leaving the bedroom. It’s a lounge robe, again not the usual silky-garment which can be quite uncomfortable in the tropical climates.
Who all are in your team?My team consists of an accountant and a digital outreach person. The manufacturing is outsourced. Designing the garments and content creation across social media platforms is my domain, along with business development and managing daily logistics.
Any advice or strategy to cope with Covid-19 as a business or as an individual?I’m using this time to connect with my customers through the online platforms, the intent currently is to connect with them on a deeper level.As an individual and as a business owner both; the intangible things that are helping me paddle through these tough times are; Compassion, Connection and Commitment to my goals.
March 31, 2020