Bree McKeen, who used to work in finance, started Evelyn & Bobbie in 2013 after spending years struggling to find a comfortable bra that didn’t dig into her ribcage.
“The bra was a great idea in 1933, but it’s time for some innovation,” said McKeen, who is based in Portland.
McKeen’s solution was to design the Everyday Bustier, a bra that’s wireless and strapless but still supportive. She did that by building a patented 3-D EB CoreTM technology that offers a 360-degree hold and helps redistribute weight from the shoulder muscles to the core muscles.
“With most bras, it’s like you are holding up two to eight pounds on a shoelace,” said McKeen. “That’s why we launched with strapless to show how well the technology works.”
The Evelyn & Bobbie bra also works with a completely new sizing system that’s free of band and cup sizes. After 3-D-scanning multiple women’s bodies, McKeen used those data points to create an algorithm built on computational science that matches a customer to their best fit with three measurements. McKeen worked with Jenna Fizel, an MIT graduate, to create the software for the algorithm that determines each customer’s size. Evelyn & Bobbie’s vice president of product design, Stephanie Muhlenfeld, who previously served as the manager of technical development for Nike’s sport bras, built the algorithm. The bra is made from a seamless fabric with four-way stretch to help accommodate changes in women’s bodies and comes in a variety of flesh-colored tones. It closes with a front clasp that can hold up to 50 pounds.
McKeen has big goals for the business and to help her build out the brand. There are plans to release more bra styles and also will offer three different underwear silhouettes. The bras start shipping in December, but Evelyn & Bobbie currently has a Kickstarter page where women can pre-order the bras up until June 16 for a discounted price of $88. They will normally be priced at $188.
“We plan on being the fastest-growing intimate apparel company,” said McKeen who funded the company with help from a New York investment firm. “We are trying to fix issues with the bra that haven’t been addressed.”
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