The Underargument may be a lingerie brand but it’s as much about empowerment and celebrating individuality as it is about beautiful bras and knickers. Maïna Cissé, who founded the brand in 2015, is big on challenging norms – that’s where the argument part of the name comes from – and she creates underwear to help women do that.
Each collection is themed around a norm and a response, like ‘for awesome // against perfect’. The norm is the idea that perfection is the key to success and happiness, and the underargument, what the lingerie is designed to do, is to show you that you’re awesome as you and that your quirks are what give you power. Each piece is also named after an empowering quote, which is also on a label that’s stitched inside, so you get a little reminder every time you put the underwear on.
In keeping with brand ethos of individuality and authenticity, Maïna runs what she calls anti-casting for each of her collection campaigns. Women are invited to submit experiences and stories in response to the theme of a collection and then they are chosen to be photographed on the basis of that alone. No pictures and no measurements are required at any stage and no modelling experience is necessary. The result is diversity that is real and honest rather than a box-ticking exercise.
The Underargument also takes a slow fashion approach to production, using organic cotton, premium fabrics and Oeko-Tex certified materials to make the lingerie. Through their Madagascan manufacturer, brand also supports Sekool, a foundation that helps disadvantaged kids get back into education.