Introducing EKS – Luxuriously Minimalist Lingerie
T he newly-launched EKS is everything you’d expect from a New Orleans lingerie label – chill, at times theatrically lavish, and just a little bit witchy. It was founded by Melissa Clark, who named the brand after the Greek word ekstasis, meaning to be or stand outside oneself. “I like the strength that it conveys,” she says.
Clark entered the lingerie industry from a blend of two backgrounds, having first studied and worked in costume design for the theatre before becoming a yoga instructor, and you can see the influence of both in EKS. Though seemingly opposing aesthetics – one made for the spectacle, the other much more simple and ‘back to basics’ – she has woven them together seamlessly.
Minimalist, Soulful Sensuality
Her brand’s aesthetic is, in her own words, all about “minimalist, soulful sensuality”. Think loose, draped robes, simple silhouettes, and a restrained color palette that’s mostly black. Models pose in her pieces in both an ornately-decorated old home and against the backdrop of a decaying graveyard.
The luxury factor of EKS comes from the fabrics, which include the likes of wool and silk velvet, and all of which are sourced in NYC. “This is a very textile driven endeavor,” Clark says, “I’m very drawn to silk, especially the heavier weighted ones like 4-ply because I love the weight and drape. It has an aliveness to it that many other fibers don’t possess.”
Every design begins with choosing the fabric, after which she’ll sketch out her ideas and make as many samples as required to perfect the product. Clark does all of the pattern-drafting and sewing herself.
One of the standout pieces from the EKS debut collection is the Ritual Robe. It’s made from a combination of 4-ply silk charmeuse and silk velvet, with burnout detailing for a beautifully organic finish. It’s loose-fitting and designed to be unisex.
I’m also a fan of a piece that’s completely different, the Holster Bra & Skirt set. Strappy lingerie has been around for a while but rarely is it so bold. This set uses extra-wide bands of soft elastic, with chunky hardware throughout so that each strap is adjustable. It makes a striking statement all on its own, but would also be perfect for layering over outerwear.
“It’s supremely comfortable and I love the zipper detail.”
I asked Clark what her own favorite of her creations is, and it’s the Luxe Bandeau & High Waist Short set. Available for pre-order, the bandeau features a closure-free strappy back, and both pieces are made from wool and lined with silk. “It’s so fabulous to wear!” she told me, “It’s supremely comfortable and I love the zipper detail.” She designed this set especially with layering under sheer outfits in mind – a luxe yet ‘basic’ base layer you’ll get tons of wear from.
Commitment to Sustainibility
Alongside the luxury factor, another hallmark of EKS is Clark’s commitment to sustainability. She chooses natural fibers wherever possible, and selects only high-quality ones that are made to last. She sews either in small batches or on a made-to-order basis, to minimize waste. And even then, leftover fabric scraps get repurposed – they’re either turned into eye pillows filled with organic flaxseed and lavender or given away to local artists.
EKS is first and foremost a lingerie brand, but Clark is also aiming to cater to a particular lifestyle. As well as the garments and eye pillows, she also sells herbal tea and organic skincare, all made by her. “I imagine someone wearing my robe, relaxing with tea or a face mask, and it’s all part of a ritual of self-care, relaxation, mediation” she explained.
EKS may be new on the lingerie scene, but Clark is already thinking about what’s next. “I have a few garments for male-presenting bodies in the works”, she told me, and “I am also working on some very structured leather bustiers that I am really excited about!”
Most EKS items featured here can be purchased immediately, except the Basic Bandeau and High Waist Panty set and the Holster Bra & Skirt set, which are available to pre-order.
Clark also offers a custom design service (including nightgowns, chemises, and other garments not currently available as ready-to-wear), and welcomes wholesale inquiries from retailers. Contact Clark at the email address below to discuss a custom or wholesale order.
Learn more about EKS