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Black-owned lingerie shop pops up in Detroit

Owner Sara Crutcher wants women of all sizes to feel confident without paying a pretty penny.

Rozalia black robe, Kisskill, $85; Moroccan Sunset triangle bra, Else, $67; Moroccan Sunset brief, Else, $48; Coachella bodysuit, Else, $116

Photos by Lauren Jeziorski

Who says lingerie is something you can only whip out for special occasions?

With her new lingerie pop-up shop opening this month, Detroiter Sara Crutcher is looking to change the way women view lingerie by showing it can be something women can wear every day.

“You could have on something nice, and it doesn’t have to be crazy expensive,” Crutcher, owner of Elizabeth Neal Lingerie, says. “It could just be a hot pink lace bra, and then on the outside have on a black suit. It’s having that self-awareness. I want more women to see lingerie like that.”

Crutcher believes shopping for lingerie should be less intense and more fun – something she plans to do in her pop-up by changing the entire experience. There will be no mannequins or photos of women in lingerie in the shop to allow women of all sizes to feel more confident about their own bodies.

“I think sometimes when you see that, you automatically think, ‘My body doesn’t look like that, I can’t fit stuff like that.’ So I really want to remove that, because it’s about you and it’s about what makes you feel good.

“Putting on lingerie is a very intimate moment that you have with yourself, because that’s the first thing you put on,” she adds. “It’s the closest thing that touches your skin. I think that it helps to build a lot of confidence when you’re wearing things that you feel good in.”

Petunia Triangle Bra, Else, $67; Petunia Sporty Brief, Else, $38; Petunia Bodysuit, Else, $110

 

Crutcher got her start in lingerie as a bra fitter almost 15 years ago, a job that allowed her to see lingerie differently. Her dreams evolved from designing her own lingerie brand to opening her own shop. She says this pop-up shop is the first of many to come – and the first step on the road to achieving her ultimate goal of having her own boutique.

Sometimes confidence isn’t the only thing blocking someone from indulging in lingerie, Crutcher says. Lingerie can be pricey, so her products are affordable and in line with everyday wear. The brands are high-end, international labels, but Crutcher’s stock is mostly past-season merchandise.

“For the consumer, most people don’t really care that a bra was from spring/summer 16, versus fall/winter 16,” Crutcher says. “I was able to figure that out and make it so people are still getting the high-end brands, but they don’t necessarily have to pay those prices.”

Her costs range from $22 to $150 in sizes spanning 32B-38G.

“I’m bringing high-quality fabrics from international brands that have been around for many years and have perfected how lingerie and bras should fit,” she says. “They really know about making things for women’s bodies that really accentuate curves and different body types. It’s wearable. It’s functional.”

The first Elizabeth Neal Lingerie pop-up is 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb.11 at Detroit Wick, 1400 E. Fisher Freeway, Detroit. elizabethneallingerie.com.

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