Janay: Delicately British Lingerie Debut
Above: Janay No. 8 Lace Racer Silk Bra and Silk Chantilly Thong.
“Janay’s ‘Avenue Twenty Four’ — an homage to the British female”
by Michelle Broomes
The future of the British lingerie industry appears to be in good hands with young designers like Janay Eleanor flying the flag for homemade couture.
Janay recently launched her debut lingerie collection, captioned “Avenue Twenty Four”, as homage to the British female. A captivating mixture of lace, chiffon and silk, this range is designed to make the wearer feel special and empowered with dynamically crafted yet luxurious garments to embrace the body.
Above: Janay No. 4 High Rise Chiffon Bra.
What started out as a bespoke business to introduce clients to her unique spin on luxury underwear, has led Janay down the avenue of carving a niche of her own, beginning with this inaugural collection which she launched on April 1, 2014.
Originally from a quiet village called Higham Ferrers in Northamptonshire, Janay pursued a teenage dream to become a designer and attended the renowned De Montfort University in Leicester known for its prestigious Contour Fashion program.
Above: Janay No. 12 Chiffon Caress Lace Bra and Strapped Silk and Lace Brief.
Upon completion, this visionary designer interned for British brands Leurre and Enamore, but this served only to fuel her entrepreneurial spirit and desire to bring her own design vision to fruition.
Inspired by the chic and tailored looks she found on British women in some of the most upmarket London neighbourhoods, Avenue Twenty Four was consequently engineered.
Janay revealed that the response to her collection has left her “pretty speechless” and she has been overwhelmed by the reception to her debut work not just locally but abroad.
“…pieces have been created with tantalizing features visible from every angle to draw the eye’s orientation around the wearer’s entire silhouette.”
“We’ve been featured internationally since the first of April,” she expressed. “It’s been amazing.”
Constructed from the finest silk, chiffons and Chantilly lace, Avenue Twenty Four is aimed at delivering an effortlessly elegant and wholly luxurious product line that ensures the wearer that they are getting their money’s worth.
The pieces have been created with tantalizing features visible from every angle to draw the eye’s orientation around the wearer’s entire silhouette.
“I wanted to create lingerie that was made of luxury fabrics that was worth the price tag,” Janay explained. “You are getting three hundred and sixty degrees designing. You look around the entire design and there are features all the way from the front to the back and the side. I didn’t want to forget any part of it. If you are buying a whole outfit, it’s not worth half a look – just at the front. It needs to be all the way round; to be one of those designs where you do look back – you watch that design walk away.”
Janay’s love of life’s contrasts has inspired her to create Avenue Twenty Four as a collection underpinned by co-existing and complementary opposites. Strong architectural and geometric lines define the bras’ structure and soft, seductive materials keep the garments feminine.
“It’s kind of harsh but the fabrics make it delicate,” she said regarding her peculiar design concept.
To her, it is the lingerie interpretation of sophisticated tailoring and is personified by that sharply suited British woman who is still quite elegant and beautiful to the beholder.
Above: Janay No. 16 High Rise Bra and Twin Strap Tanga with Double Crossed Waisted Suspender.
However, there is practicality as much as aesthetics in the design of her garments, according to Janay. The U-shaped centrepieces of the bras which have now become her calling card, also serve to make the product more comfortable to the wearer.
Janay has created these styles not just for the market but also for herself as she is well aware, through her own experience, of the discomfort that traditional design can cause on the smaller busted, particularly with firm centre wires that can dig into a sensitive sternum.
“A lot of bras that I have or that I’ve bought before, they need that bit [centre wires] not to be there,” she shared, explaining that her design decision has included an element of selfishness. With many of her clients also finding relief in her unusual centrepieces, the result is a high-end range for smaller chested women to enjoy sexy underwear with more comfort.
And she has purposed to make the U-shape her signature for the brand.
“I can’t do without it,” she stated. “I absolutely love it.”
Avenue Twenty Four comes in two wearable contrast colour moods: Dusk Grey and Blossom Pink to accommodate different skin tones and tastes. Blossom Pink is particularly significant for the designer as it reflects her love for the cherry blossom tree, images of which appear on her website. The harsh contrast of dark branches against pale pink blooms forms that delicately powerful combination that makes the tree and Janay’s designs simply stunning to look at.
The collection of bras, briefs and suspenders is marketed with style numbers rather than names as Janay felt it unnecessary to follow that traditional road.
“I’m quite stubborn and I don’t like to be like anybody else,” she laughed, explaining that she admires and has been inspired by many luxury brands whose collection pieces are named but has not felt obligated, herself, to follow suit.
Besides, the numbering of the styles falls in line with her vision for the collection: At age 24 she has walked down many an avenue to realize her dream, and what’s on an avenue? Of course, houses with numbers. It makes perfect sense.
Sourced and manufactured on her home soil and inspired by resident fashionistas makes Janay’s Avenue Twenty Four collection a sincere British tribute.