ONE-STOP CAMI SHOP: It’s a familiar fashion tale: a designer launches a clothing line after seeking to fill a gap in the market. Canadian-born, New York-based designer Samantha Steen had been looking to round out her professional wardrobe with a silk camisole — one that had lace detailing but wasn’t too reminiscent of lingerie — and struggled to find it. So she went to a local manufacturer and designed one of her own. “I started wearing it out and girls would grab my arm and say, ‘I’m dying for that, where did you get it?’ And I’m not the kind of person who is approached often,” she laughed. “So I thought, ‘Clearly, there’s a market for this.’” And there was: on the first day of launching her global e-commerce site last month, 26-year-old Steen — who runs the company by herself — sold out of 10 different colors. The site, designed by boutique design agency Gin + Juice Design, offers five different versions of a camisole — halter-top, racerback, spaghetti strap, with lace and sheer detailing — in varying color and fabric options. The silk designs start at $128 while leather and suede styles go for $230, available exclusively at caminyc.com (for now).
For spring, Steen will launch more styles and broaden the color range and she hopes to eventually expand beyond camisoles, though she maintains that the brand will always be about basic wardrobe essentials. “Moving forward I’ll start introducing T-shirts, and then it’ll evolve from there. But I still want to keep it to basics… It’s not a fast-fashion type of brand.”