DUMBO Mom Launches Sexy Lingerie Line

By Janet Upadhye on October 3, 2013 8:51am 

DUMBO — DUMBO isn't just home to a booming tech industry.

Stephanie Chen recently launched a fashion brand out of her DUMBO home, proving that the industrial streets of the waterfront neighborhood not only inspire the invention of sleek cellphone charging stations and colorful Instagram photo booths, but are also home to creations that involve silk and lace.

Chen, mother of a 7-year-old daughter, calls her lingerie brand Sapphire Bliss and describes it as sexy and sophisticated but also edgy, like DUMBO.  

“I am not competing with the cutesy, hot pink looks found at Victoria's Secret,” she said. “Their lingerie is made for men — mine is made for strong, independent women.”

Chen was born in a small village in southern China and immigrated to the United States as a pre-teen without knowing a word of English. She said that the difficulties of the move made her stronger and her parents' work in the factories of the Garment District gave her a love of fabric and the desire to make a better living.

After graduating from high school, she was accepted into Parsons School for Design and then took jobs with various contemporary design labels. But she knew that one day she would design for herself.

A little over two years ago she quit her job at Polo Ralph Lauren and decided to start her own line. Her first collection, entitled “The Roaring Twenties,” was inspired by her favorite decade in fashion.

“There is something powerful about that time — women were becoming more independent,” she said. “I love the head pieces, the jewelry and the black and white of the silver screen.”

Chen calls her lingerie “a signature style of sexy femininity, soft modern tailoring with vintage appeal.”

Most uniquely, Chen’s line can be worn inside or out on the town.

“I want the women who wear my lingerie to feel like they are buying something gorgeous to wear at home or out at a cocktail party with heels and leggings,” she said.

Chen’s designs can be bought on her website with prices ranging from $188 to $368.

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