We’re so excited to share with you our latest interview in our 5 Things series where we chat with Maike Lüdenbach, founder of ethical and sustainable underwear line LÖV the label. Here we talk about how she got started, the importance of inclusivity and conscious production, growing up in Spain, and finding inspiration in friendships, real women, and the magical world of self care.
1. How did LÖV come about? Tell me a bit about your background, how you got started and what inspired you to start a brand?
I created LÖV when I decided to quit modeling and was looking for a vessel through which to create the passionate message I wanted to spread. After going through a lot of abuse in the industry and knowing well the pressures society puts on all women I wanted to create a space where women could feel beautiful just the way there are, without feeling obligated to fit and mold themselves into a nearly impossible norm. Even though the fashion industry can feel hostile at times as we well know thanks to the model Cameron Russell's Instagram and Casting Director James Scully and his speech at BOF (Business of Fashion), the #Metoo movement and #myjobshouldnotincludeabuse, I still have a passion for fashion. So I decided to create underwear since it is the place where we as women can hide the least.
2. It seems that LÖV celebrates women of all colors, shapes, and sizes. Was this always something you wanted to incorporate in your brand and why?
Inclusivity has always been the most important factor for LÖV. Of course, great quality and sustainability are a no-brainer for me but what drives me to do the best I can everyday is the mission of being able to normalize images of all kinds of women and show the strength and beauty in them. I don't know if you noticed but aren't women just frigging AMAZING!?
3. I love that your pieces are not only chic, but sustainable too! Was sustainability an important aspect to you from the beginning or was that a natural evolution? Has it been challenging sourcing sustainable fabrics?
The sustainability, fair-trade aspect of the business has been very difficult to support, but to me there was no other option. Since we are a very small brand, we produce small quantities which makes buying fabrics and finding a production site that works with small numbers very hard. It took me three years to find the right people and community to translate my idea and values into something tangible.
4. Where do you find your inspiration? Are there certain people you look to for inspiration and/or guidance?
Inspiration comes from everywhere. I grew in Spain, so living the good life, knowing how to enjoy... long lunches under the sun with wine and the ocean waves as soundtrack are like in my core. The women around me, the women that I meet who are mothers, homemakers, artists, businesswomen.. really all women, my friends are the ones that inspire me daily. I find female friendship is such a rock in my life that it translates well as inspiration for my work.
5. What is one thing/person/place you are obsessed with right now?
Currently I am obsessed with Mama Medicine. There is something about her that captivates me. She is a mum a shaman and sees auras. I love her Instagram and the ritual baths she creates. I am fascinated by all of these beautiful tools she uses that I am just captivated by. Candles, incense, crystals, fresh flowers...she has created a magic world that reminds me of the world I used to believe to be real as a child. I am actually a very rational, sober kind of person but there is something about her and her work that sparks hope in me.
Lookbook image featuring the Butterfly Bra in Henna
Find out more about Maike and her brand, LÖV, here.