From Hawaii with love – handmade underwear by Gypsy

Words by Anna Langer, photos by Daeja Fallas

While we’ve never supported the idea that girls have to be sexy around the clock, we do know that all girls like to feel beautiful and attractive all day long, but also comfy at the same time. When she moved from NYC to Hawaii and saw all the girls hanging out in their bikini bottoms all the time, Kate Ruggiero created Gypsy to fill the void of sexy but yet practical clothing.

“I love lazy Saturday mornings and sitting around the house or on the porch reading and tea drinking. I wanted something comfortable but sexy and had a hard time finding anything other than the classic boyshort style. I also wanted some fun prints so that I could laze around the house without feeling too revealing and as if I was actually in my underwear,” recalls Kate. “I wanted to design something I wanted. My friends quickly wanted more and more as well and encouraged me to sell them.”

And her first collection was sold out almost immediately, proving that by “following her heart”, as she puts it herself, was the best possible direction for her. Leaving her life as a fashion photographer in New York behind to live a life of freedom and simplicity, gave her a lot more space to discover other passions. Like sewing and designing. “Gypsy honestly did not start as a business or start with a business plan to appeal to a certain group of women. It started completely for fun.” And her experience in the fashion world gave her the perfect background for it. “I don’t have any extensive training in design, I simply feel the years in the fashion industry helped me develop a love for finding my own style and what I felt best in.”

Besides colourful designs, inspired by “all things beach”, and unique cuts far away from your regular brazilian or boyshort styles, her focus is on super soft, skin caressing fabrics. “Each piece is one of a kind and I try to make something you will NEVER see in a department store.” On the other hand this also means, that once a style is sold out, it truly is gone forever.

Creating everything from scratch herself, adds another quality to her products that is really important to Kate: eco-friendliness. “Living in such a beautiful home, it’s impossible to not recognize the  natural beauty that needs to be protected and it inspires me to make every decision with this consciousness at the heart.” She shops locally and always tries to find the best sustainable and recycled fabrics, that work for the comfy but sexy concept. And cutting and sewing each piece with her own hands, the manufacturing process itself doesn’t pose big problems anyway. Rather  he contrary: “I believe that business can create social change especially when it is born from a place of need, inspiration and reinvestment in a community. That is how this whole adventure began.”

But it doesn’t seem to be over any time soon. After the success of her first two collections, Summer and Winter 2010/11, she just got back to Hawaii from an extensive research-trip with a huge suitcase stuffed with new fabrics. “I started sewing and creating for fun and the best part is, that it has not changed. No matter how it evolves and grows and how much I learn, this is an adventure and one that I plan to enjoy.”

And this is a precious lesson to all girls in the world out there. Always feel beautiful in your skin and follow your heart as far as you can. “No matter how much you doubt yourself or what your fears or hesitations in life are, things will work out if you simply listen to your heart & believe solely in what you want.”

Get your very own pair of comfy sexyness at

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