Cora Harrington is very popular in the lingerie industry. As the founder and ediatrix of The Lingerie Addict, she writes about all things frilly and intimate. Cora’s in-depth coverage of the lingerie industry goes well beyond product reviews; she blogs knowledgeably about how to find the right fit, what’s happening in the industry, lingerie culture and beyond.
The Lingerie Addict is not just a trade journal; it’s the life’s work of a woman who is extremely passionate about what we wear underneath (and in the boudoir). We recently spoke with Cora about how she got started, what it was like to create her dream job, and her all-time favorite piece of lingerie.
When did your fascination with lingerie begin?
I’d say I first became interested in lingerie when I was in my early to mid-twenties. I’m not the sort of person who’s always had a lifelong interest in intimates. In fact, I used to hate wearing bras! But I first became attuned to stockings and other kinds of hosiery and then that gradually blossomed into an interest in all kinds of intimate apparel — from corsets to loungewear to bra and panty sets.
What got you started blogging about lingerie? Why lingerie?
I started blogging about lingerie because I couldn’t find the kind of lingerie blog I wanted to read. There were a few other lingerie blogs around at the time (notably: The Lingerie Post, Frou Frou Fashionista, Knickers Blog, and Petite Coquette), but most of them focused on press releases and lookbooks. And that’s fine, of course! I love beautiful lingerie photography as much as the next person. But there wasn’t really anyone offering reviews or shopping advice or product recommendations… and as a newcomer to the world of lingerie, that’s what I was most interested in. So I just started sharing reviews of things I was buying, and my blog readership grew very slowly and organically from there.
What lingerie trends are you really excited about right now?
I’m personally enthusiastic about the growth of loungewear in the intimate apparel industry. I used to not really understand the point of robes and nightgowns and lounge sets, but now I’m very much into having beautiful “wear around the house” clothes, and it’s really nice to see the larger lingerie industry embrace this area of intimates as well.
How have you seen the lingerie industry change and evolve in the last few years?
If I can be totally honest here, I believe the lingerie industry is very slow to change, more so than even the mainstream fashion industry. It’s been very exciting to see new brands access consumers through storefronts like Etsy or the use of social media (notably Pinterest and Instagram), and the rise of the lingerie start-up is also intriguing. But I’m not seeing any major developments or evolutions from the lingerie industry as a sector. It’s a very conservative segment of the fashion world, and I think it’s become even more so in the last few years (i.e. post recession).
What would you like to change about the industry?
I would love to see more brands and stores embrace the Internet. There’s been a notable and persistent backlash to all digital technologies within the intimate apparel industry for as long as I’ve been writing about lingerie. I still talk to brands every market season that brag about not having a website, which in the year 2015 makes no sense at all. The Internet is not anyone’s enemy at this point; it can only help the industry as a whole to survive and thrive.
Do you think that women are taking their lingerie more seriously in 2015? Or have there always been this many lingerie addicts?
I’m not sure if there are any more lingerie addicts now than there were five years ago (and I don’t quite know how one would measure that!), but I do think the barrier to entry to learning about and trying lingerie is considerably lower than it used to be. Not only are there more lingerie bloggers than ever before, there are also a number of forums and communities dedicated to lingerie, and that wasn’t the case when I first became interested in intimate apparel. There are also more brands now than ever before, and it’s never been easier for those brands to directly reach their target audience. So I think we’re seeing a shift in access, and that’s leading to a change in behavior.
What is it like working on the blog day to day? Does your team collaborate in house or are they distributed?
I feel like I’m working my dream job! It’s really a privilege to get to talk about something I love every day of living. Most of my team works remotely. I’m based in the Seattle, WA area but I have columnists in New York, London, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Australia… among other places.
What is the most challenging part of managing an extremely popular blog?
I would say that staying on top of everything is the most challenging part. In addition to my blog, I also run a number of social media channels connected to The Lingerie Addict, and they have over a quarter of a million followers between them. I also still respond to reader messages and questions, and I manage all brand campaigns and partnerships myself. So just making sure that everything’s running smoothly is the most challenging part of managing my blog. But as I said, I love it, and I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.
What is your all-time favorite lingerie piece? Favorite colour? Favorite fabric?
I think my most favorite piece of all time would be the classic 1950’s Warner’s Merry Widow. Not only is it aesthetically gorgeous, in terms of fashion history, it’s also a critical transition point between the heavily boned and structured shapewear of the first half of the century with the lighter, less structured shaping garments of the latter half. It’s just an amazing cultural artifact in the history of lingerie. As regards color and fabric, I adore black mesh. It’s my all-time favorite lingerie material.