August 21, 2014 09:00 ET

Naja Brings Best of Silicon Valley Social and Merchandising Know-How to Lingerie

Trading Bits for Billboards and Digital Printing for Dye, Naja Funds Fall Collection in Weeks; Enables Extension of Product Offerings

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Aug 21, 2014) - Naja, a radically different lingerie startup created and run by women, today announced that the ecstatic reception of its summer collection has not only allowed the company to kick-off design of its fall offerings, but will also permit expansion from bras and panties into sleepwear and swimwear. The Carnaby Street collection is inspired by the 1960s, and will be designed and in production in a few weeks -- while most lingerie companies who showed in Paris are just starting to think of summer 2015.

Naja applies unique manufacturing, material and distribution processes gleaned from deep industry analysis and research more typical of Silicon Valley-born hardware design than fashion or lingerie. It overlays the best of social media -- from WOM marketing, through social commentary and trend spotting, to crowd funding -- to not only make sure the design is as fashion-forward and reactive as consumers demand, but to keep operation costs lean as the company builds its customer-base and tests out new product lines. 

"Each new line pushes us further into uncharted territory, and I'm proud to deliver fashion-forward lingerie at reasonable prices, while challenging and restructuring all of the processes of an industry that hasn't evolved much since the 1970s," said Catalina Girald, CEO and Founder of Naja. "My goal is to continue to raise the bar and evolve Naja as a lifestyle brand so the comfort, beauty and empowerment we deliver can be part of every woman's life."

Ongoing Kickstarter campaigns not only fund the production of new lines, but also gives a direct line of feedback that allows the company to improve existing collections, like using environmentally friendly glue in its bra cups to help eliminate odor, upgrading elastics to make sure they are super soft, adding a little lace to some lines, and expanding offered cup sizes to include triple D.

The decision to throw out most of what's assumed about the lingerie industry was Girald's brainchild, and she's worked tirelessly to create not only new processes, but also to rethink how lingerie is designed for and marketed to women.

"It's rare to find founders with domain and technical expertise. Add character and the ability to think strategically and you've found a true unicorn. Catalina is just that," said Erik Moore, managing director at Base VC. "You'd expect a Stanford-trained lawyer at a top five firm to be smart. But she was also scrappy and technical enough to innovate at every step of the supply chain. We're looking forward to great things from Catalina."

Meticulous control of the supply chain -- from deep materials analysis to the development of digital printing processes in place of environmentally disruptive dying typical of the industry; to independent factories with frequent, firsthand oversight and more -- is a key differentiator for Naja. It allows the team to design for the moment, versus having to predict at least a year into the future, which keeps most lingerie brands from being able to react to fashion trends. By contrast, Naja's full lines launch several times a year.

"From Naja's proprietary cups which mold to the body while also being easily machine washable, to the secret messages tucked away in each pair of Naja panties to our Underwear for Hope program, the comfort and confidence of the women we serve drive every decision we make as a company," continued Girald. "We're excited to share with more of the world."

The Carnaby Street collection is named after the legendary shopping street in London that was made famous by the London Modernists. The collection is inspired by the Women's Liberation Movement of the 1960s, which represented a new feminine ideal for women: young, single, active, and economically self-sufficient. It will be available for purchase in late November.

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About Naja
Naja was created to empower women and offer premium quality lingerie that is comfortable, uniquely designed and at fair prices. Headquartered in San Francisco, the company is backed by very experienced consumer investors, including Erik Moore, founder and managing director of Base Ventures who was an early investor in Zappos; Maveron, the consumer products fund started by Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks; John Pound, former director of Gymboree and the former CEO of Red Envelope; Mike Levinthal, former managing director at Mayfield Fund; and Andrew Mitchell, an early investor in Birchbox, Harry's and Chloe & Isabel.

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