The launch of Damaris, in 2001, spawned something of a lingerie revolution. After years of underwear departments saturated in nylon lace and cotton Lycra, the designer seized upon a gap in the lingerie market and created high fashion, avant-garde designs in natural luxurious fabrics, epitomised by a signature Bow Knicker with a cheeky bottom cleavage.
The label is the brainchild of St Martin’s fashion print design graduate Damaris Evans who, at the age of 25, started the business from her kitchen table with a £5,000 loan from the Prince’s Trust. Aiming straight for Europe’s top lingerie departments, Damaris took her creations to Selfridges and Le Bonne Marche, Paris, where, despite a retail price ranging from £125-£3,000 per piece, both stores snapped them-up.
In 2003, after much heated bidding from huge high street names such as Marks & Spencer, Top Shop, Miss Selfridge, Debenhams and New Look, Damaris launched the long-awaited diffusion line Mimi Holliday – mainline-inspired designs at a more affordable price. Rather than run the risk of losing control of the name, designs and profits, Damaris kept Mimi in-house but struck a deal with House of Fraser who exclusively sold the label through 25 stores nationwide. The first season was an immediate success and beat mid-market competitors like; Love Kylie, Gossard and Calvin Klein.
Long out of it’s original contract, Mimi Holliday now stands alone as a label and is as well known as Damaris – adding Mimi Holliday Beachwear to the stable in spring-summer 08. Recently, production has taken a huge leap with units doubling per season and turnover increasing by 72%.
The twice-annual collections are distributed through 100 global boutiques and department stores, from Russia to Australia including the prestigious Barneys and Henri Bendel’s of New York and England’s own Top Shop where it’s the best-selling lingerie label and all branches of Harvey Nichols. Ever eager to expand, we’ve recently appointed new European agents to make sure Austria, Belgium and Czech Republic are next on the lingerie hit list.
Read more about Damaris history, accolades & acknowledgements here
P.S. A naughty treat waiting for you this Easter. 30% off all Damaris & a free pair of Mimi Holliday knickers with your first set purchased.