Run by Jana Kennedy, Knickers And No Fur Coat started four years ago in London, England making frilly knickers for a Cancan troupe, Canbootycan, of which Jana was a founding member.
Always ready for a challenge, and after rather a lot of champagne, Jana decided to move to New York and show them her knickers!
Knickers And No Fur Coat now sells online.
Interview With Artists and Fleas (artistsandfleas.com):
A&F: Tell us about your collection
Knickers and No Fur Coat: (KNFC): I make bikinis inspired by 1950s pin up girls. I was a professional Can-can dancer in England and we all needed frilly knickers, so I also draw inspiration from that! I love burlesque, the image and the fact that it empowers women, I like to make people look and feel good! The holster bags came from a need for a bag that literally would not fall off! So I came up with the holster bag - making them in fabric so they are light weight and affordable.
A&F: When did you start your collection?
KNFC: I was working as a Cancan dancer in England 7 years ago and so it started from there though the bikinis really came into their own a couple of summers ago, and people love them! I think the fact that they are retro-inspired, and customized is a real selling point!
A&F: Williamsburg has always been known to showcase independent and upcoming artists and designers. How would you separate yourself from other vendors in the scene? What makes your collection unique?
KNFC: The look for a start! Nobody else is making this style of bikini. I think the designer behind the collection, the face people interact with can make a big difference. I love selling, I love selling my creations, and I love the feedback and returning customers, they make it all worth it!
A&F: What influences would you say have the greatest impact on what you do?
KNFC: Life! People I see, places I go, I have lived all over the world and suddenly something, like an idea or a place will connect with something else and from that comes an idea. I tend to find that I have sudden bursts of ideas… things swim around my brain for a while and then POP they are born!
A&F: How long have you been selling at Artists & Fleas?
KNFC: I sold at Artists & Fleas all last summer and loved it! I love being in Williamsburg and think the people living here might stray from the 'norm' and they like that!
A&F: What is your favorite part about selling at Artists & Fleas?
KNFC: I love the other vendors, there is a real sense of family, I know it might sound silly but returning after the winter season feels like coming home!
A&F: Who is your favorite designer?
KNFC: Me ha ha!!!!!
A&F: Would you say you have something to offer the mainstream public, or is your collection mostly for a niche audience?
KNFC: Both, I have fabrics and styles that reflect both, I think its important for me to be able to cater for someone who wants gold lame hot pants with a leopard print bow, but also someone who wants a plain black all in one (though it might be rather fab with a retro twist!)
A&F: If you could give someone looking to go into business for themselves any advice, what would it be?
KNFC: Nothing happens whilst you're looking gorgeous in the coffee shop talking about it! A lesson well learnt!
A&F: What was your favorite piece of advice?
KNFC: As a drag queen once said to me: too much is never enough.
Knickers and No Fur Coat will be at Artists & Fleas every Saturday throughout the Summer and is also available by appointment for custom fittings. These make lovely party gifts and brides' maid gifts, too. For further inquiries, check out the site or e-mail Jana directly at email@example.com