Some women buy make-up, Carrie was obsessed with shoes, I am a lover of lingerie. For as long as I can remember it were always the gorgeous, lacy bras and panties that caught my attention in department stores and luxurious boutiques, and that made me feel worth a million dollars when slipping them on, even on a regular day under my sweats.
Sonata lingerie makes my heart skip a beat, and my mind buzz with lust-have cravings. She merges beautiful and technically unique design forms with luxurious natural fabrics such as silk, chiffon, satins and laces creating garments that are the perfect balance of comfort and sensual femininity.
I was delighted to have the opportunity to meet with Sonata last week to talk some more.
KD: What inspired you to start your own lingerie collection? What got you started?
Sonata: I was born under the Soviet Union where we had nothing. As a teenager you want to wear pretty knickers, pretty bras and I used to cry at home! My sister got this beautiful bra and my grandmother bought me something so ugly. So from my first ugly bra, I knew I wanted something beautiful.
So when I first came to London something was born inside of me, and I thought, I really want to do that, I wanted to create something beautiful. I have always wanted to design pretty clothes, even dresses, and enjoy seeing how people would react to it.
Back home we never used to have beautiful shoes, handbags or lingerie, nothing existed and yet it was always my dream. I later had the opportunity to work for a lingerie designer, and that really got me started.
KD: Why lingerie and not dresses, like you initially started creating as a teen?
Sonata: Lingerie makes you feel different. If you go somewhere in wonderful lingerie, it lifts you up. It doesn’t even matter if nobody sees it, it’s all about you. I know women wear it to feel good, and that’s what I want. Honestly, once you get one item and you see the quality, you will come back again and again. Especially American ladies have fallen in love with my designs.
Even nowadays when I go back home, to be honest, woman don’t have beautiful things. They don’t really understand the concept, we were suppressed for 50 years.
KD: Do you look up to any other fashion designers?
Sonata: I don’t follow any designers. I am obsessed with shoes and handbags and create my ideas for my lingerie from them. Something is born in my head, I can’t explain the feeling. It’s the little details, one strap and – BOOM – I am inspired for a new design. I think ‘I can do that!’
Also, my family is very creative. My dad will put little patches on his jackets to change it around, and my grandmother is amazing. Sometimes you don’t need to study, you are born with it.
Once I start, I can’t stop- I love my sewing machine! I make dresses for myself too, now not too much, because I’m so busy, but when i was 15 i used to make dresses, jackets, everything for everyone.
KD: Have you heard the Victoria’s Secret store just opened in London? What do you think of Victoria’s Secret?
Sonata: It’s is beautiful, don’t get me wrong. Victoria’s Secret is inspiring, it lifts you up. I always watch the fashion shows on YouTube.
KD: What lingerie do you wear? Do you wear mostly your own? Are there any commercial brands you love?
Sonata: I do wear my own lingerie, of course. Mine is very delicate, its pure silk with Swarovski crystals, so it’s not ideal to wear it day-to-day. I wear Victoria’s Secret, they have great cotton panties, but my own collection when I go out.
KD: When did you establish your online store? What has your biggest challenge been so far?
Sonata: I have been selling online since around 2010. I created my collection in 2008, but the first year nothing was happening. It was only then that I realized there is such a large business side to designing. It’s not enough to just have a beautiful product.
KD: Will you be opening up a store soon?
Sonata: I would love to get into stores, ideally maybe in Selfridges or even Harrods. One day I would love to have my own shop, but there is no plan at the moment.
The internet is a new thing and people like to shop online, you can order from any country you want and just have to get out your laptop.
KD: I know it can be tricky to shop lingerie online, how do your sizes work and how easy is it to shop your collection over the internet?
Sonata: I know many lingerie designers have funny sizes, and you will always be a different size for some brands. My sizes are very honest, and very true-to-size. We do make a lot of made to measure, if ladies let me know they have wide hips, or send me their measurements, I know that it will fit them and flatter them.
KD: Who comes to shop online?
Sonata: Lots of men shop for their women online. I have a man from France who bought so much beautiful lingerie in all colors for his wife for their 60th anniversary. That was so sweet! Otherwise all sorts of women shop Sonata lingerie, I’d say it’s a mix of women between around 20 to 50 year olds.
KD: Who is your collection aimed at?
Sonata: It’s more for myself, but I always have to think what women like. I do have that special touch. I do know what women want.
All my life I used to be a rebel, I sewed my own clothes. Everyone used to comment, and now I make my own lingerie. I know people like what I wear. I know if I like a particular bra or design, that other people will like it too.
But I don’t have a particular person that my collection is aimed at, no.
KD: What are some of your bestsellers?
Sonata: For some reason I always wear balconette bras, but women are crazy for soft bras online. Every day I sell soft bras. I think people don’t want to wear underwired bras anymore, it’s a new fashion to wear soft bras. And my soft bras give you a really nice support as well. Then of course my bodysuits. Everyone is going crazy about them. The ribbon knickers are always nice too!
Sonata: I love shopping in little boutiques down the Kings Road.
KD: I am a big fan of martinis and would love to know, what is your favorite cocktail?
Sonata: I am a white wine drinker, usually. But I can’t resist a cocktail with lemon grass, it’s tastes amazing!
Sonata lingerie represents reality and is created for real women. The goal is to feel sexy and sensual as a woman, and not only to please men.
Sonata is not only a heavenly designer of wonderful, delicate and fabulous lingerie all made of natural fabrics that will leave you feeling irresistible, but she is also an inspiring, strong personality that I look up to and admire.
Sonata knows what women want. Her lingerie is both comfortable, super soft to the skin and incredibly sexy! What more could any woman ask for?