DAMDAM

Conversations with

Bonita Kye

BY GISELLE GO

Photographs courtesy of Bonita Kye

Underpinnings made to be chic and comfortable are easier said than done. Most in the market seem to come from large-scale commercial brands whose sole objective is to cater to the male fantasy or are produced to be exclusively utilitarian to the point of being frumpy. In this environment, labels like Kye Intimates are a breath of fresh air for creating underthings that are delicate, pretty, and actually practical. What makes it even more appealing is that Kye Intimates is independently run by one woman, founder Bonita Kye (who does it all, from design to fulfillment!) supported by a family-owned manufacturer that is 100% powered by solar energy. Get to know the California native, from what it’s like for her to run an ethical business to which style decade inspires.

Hi, Bonita. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in a small town outside of Los Angeles and am now living in Santa Monica with my husband and pup. I’m currently the one BTS for Kye Intimates – designer, customer service team, order fulfillment team, and everything in between!

The clean lines of a Kye Intimates piece photographed by Tiana Petrullo.

“I wanted to share with women quality, understated pieces that made them feel beautiful when worn… I hope to encourage our community to purchase mindfully and support other brands who prioritize sustainability.”

What’s the story behind Kye Intimates?

The idea of Kye was born from the need for comfortable and functional underpinnings sans the decorative aspects. I wanted to share with women quality, understated pieces that made them feel beautiful when worn. Through Kye, I hope to encourage our community to purchase mindfully and support other brands who prioritize sustainability at the forefront of their values.

Knowing how important it is for you to work in a sustainable environment, what was it like to build an ethical business?

Building an ethical business does take some patience – from finding a manufacturing partner with similar ethics to sourcing high quality surplus fabric, down to packaging details. Counting my lucky stars to have found a sweet family-owned, 100% solar power dependent manufacturing company in Los Angeles to develop Kye.

Opal briefs photographed by Tiana Petrullo.

Solar panels cover the roof of Kye Intimates’ manufacturing partner in Los Angeles.

“Building an ethical business does take some patience… Counting my lucky stars to have found a sweet family-owned, 100% solar power dependent manufacturing company in Los Angeles to develop Kye.”

What inspires your work?

I am most often inspired by nature, museums, people-watching, the ’90s, travels, design books, architecture and of course all of the wonderful creatives I’ve had the opportunity to work with so far!

What can we expect from your label in the near future?

As Kye is our interpretation of classic shapes and forms with a contemporary take on underpinnings, we are not necessarily affected by shifts in seasons. So far we have had two capsule collections and are currently working on an essentials edit that will become Kye’s permanent collection! We will also be working with a lovely showroom come next year to transition Kye into like-minded specialty stores – hopefully near you!

Kye Intimates pieces photographed by Danny Lane.

Do you have a routine to help you be productive/ creative? How about when you need to unwind after work?

Luckily my schedule is never the same but I try to start my mornings slow- meditate, have breakfast with my love, turn phone on silent, and get to it! I usually step away from work in the afternoon to take a walk by the sea or go for a dip if it’s warm out. That always helps me reset. To unwind, I do a combination of yoga sculpt, connect with friends/family, watch the sunset, cook, read, have a glass of wine.

Nineties minimalism photographed by Tiana Petrullo.

“Luckily my schedule is never the same but I try to start my mornings slow- meditate, have breakfast with my love, turn phone on silent, and get to it!”

How are you planning to spend the holidays?

With loved ones cooking and sharing a meal. Catching the Alexander Calder’s exhibition at Hauser & Wirth. Currently on a family trip in Park City, Utah – which I highly recommend!

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