Fashion designer Francesca Cadorniga empowers women with her bespoke lingerie
What once was hidden is now out. Well, to be fair, they have been exposed for quite some time. We have seen it in Madonna’s music videos, racy movies, and adorned with wings on the runways. Intimate wears are no longer under layers of clothes, giving one’s look a sense of chic vulgarity.
As today’s fashion scene blurs the lines between his and hers when it comes to underwear with brands releasing gender-fluid and non-binary collections, change is also can be seen in the most stylish intimate wear there is, lingerie. After a long history of seeing lingerie through the male gaze, women are now claiming back the power that’s within its every seams and laces. As Dita Von Teese said, “Don’t save your good lingerie for dates, wear it for you.” Their call for diversity even moved one of the biggest lingerie labels in the world, Victoria’s Secret, to take a “woke” rebranding.
Locally, one designer has been campaigning for lingerie pieces that hug every woman’s curves and swerves, beautiful narrow lines, even for transgender individuals, with her bespoke designs. It has been a mission of Francesca Cadorniga, fashion designer of Sefra Babewear, to empower women and make them feel stylish while in their barest state.
“Sefra Babewear is all about exploring the babe within, the independent miss in a fierce city of sin; a focus on handmade, homegrown materials making sexy lingerie, accessories, and creating stories to wear,” Francesca describes her brand. “It was created for women to be utterly confident in their own skin; to explore their sensuality, sexuality, and everything in between.”
To explore more about her work, Manila Bulletin Lifestyle chats with Francesca about her label, the cause behind it, and the personal pleasure that comes from wearing lingerie.
How long have you been designing and what made you pursue this career path?
I’ve been sewing as a kid and always making accessories and making my own clothes. So it was a matter of choosing a product that resonated with my experience and passion.
Why did you choose intimate wear or lingerie as your main product?
I was in a physically abusive relationship and when I got out, I had body issues. I hated my body. I started wearing lingerie and felt magnificent. I thought to myself, If I felt that way when I wore them, then it would make other women heal and feel good about themselves as well.
With it being covered by other articles of clothing, do you think lingerie empowers women? Why or why not?
Yes, of course! It’s like having your own little secret. It exudes confidence you never knew you had even though nobody’s going to see it.
Do you have an interesting story with a client that you can share with us? Or what was the greatest response you got due to your work?
A lot of clients message me about healing, and feeling good about themselves when they wear my comfortable yet sexy lingerie.
What is the unique touch you put into your creations as a Filipina designer?
It’s sexy, comfortable, and supportive even without the wires. As a quality check, I even sleep in it. If it’s comfortable enough for sleeping then it’s good enough for everyday wear!
Where do you source your inspiration?
From strong women who don’t give a f— about what others say.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking for lingerie or is afraid to wear one?
Lingerie isn’t just for men to look at. Lingerie is just a general term for anything underwear, your granny panties or your period panties included! So don’t be afraid to be unapologetically you. Wear them for you.
What can we expect from Sefra Babewear in the future?
Hopefully a storefront soon. New designs are coming. I’m consigning at Kahilom at Hub Eacolata and Ilya and more are coming.