Fashion Mannuscript — Fashion Mannuscript February 2013
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Redefining "Going Commando"

Why would an underwear designer encourage customers to go commando?

Prior to 2005, the military term "going commando" was popular slang for someone not wearing underwear. Over the last eight years, thanks to dynamic Vermont-based designer Kerry O'Brien, the idea of "going commando" has taken on a whole new meaning for stylish women worldwide.

O'Brien launched commando as better than nothing, a line of precision-cut totally "invisible" underwear constructed without elastic or trim, shaking up the intimate apparel industry in the process. Frustrated by her own discomfort with the digging and gouging of elastic waistbands in the underwear available in the market, she set about creating products that are elastic-free, figure flattering and made of patented high-tech performance fabrics. The line is sold in over 1,000 department stores and independent boutiques across North America.

"I always wanted underwear that didn't dig into me and leave me with visible panty lines. It just bummed me out," O'Brien says. "I couldn't understand it: we care so much about what we wear for lipstick, what wear for shoes, for accessories – but underwear seemed to be an afterthought."

The result? Commando's signature low-rise microfiber thong. A red carpet must-have for fashion-forward celebrities including Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Lopez, the thong has achieved cult status for its total comfort and invisibility. The line soon grew to include girl shorts, bikinis, tanks, camisoles and a full range of slips designed with a patented weighted hem to keep them in place.

At the core of the commando brand is a passion for constant innovation. In 2009, commando took on the hosiery category, launching a collection of dig-free luxury legwear with a patent-pending waistband. The perfect combination of commando's invisible underwear and super-premium luxury legwear, it was an instant hit with consumers, retailers and fashion editors alike. Lucky magazine called the ultimate matte opaque tights the best black tights to buy two years in a row. Commando legwear has been used by many contemporary designers like Erin Fetherston and Rebecca Minkoff to style their New York Fashion Week shows.

The innovation continued in early 2012 when O'Brien launched commando control, a line of light to moderate compression precision-cut shaping garments with the tagline smoothed not stuffed. Featured in magazines ranging from InStyle to Redbook, commando control is redefining what it means to wear shapewear. The all day comfort and smoothing is unlike the industrial strength compression of traditional shapewear that can make the wearer feel like a stuffed sausage.

Kerry O'Brien was honored in 2012 to be inducted into the Council of Fashion Designers of America alongside fashion industry icons like Donna Karan, Michael Kors and Diane von Furstenberg. She is one of only a handful of intimate apparel designers among the four hundred person membership.

The brand's momentum continues as we head into 2013 with the launch of commando swim, a collection of fabulously reversible swimwear called dip & flip, the expansion of commando control into cotton and a new line of supremely sheer and luxurious hosiery called princess sheers. Commando is poised to turn the industry on its cheeks for many years to come.

Kerry O'Brien
472 Meadowland Drive, Suite 10
South Burlington, VT 05403
Tel: 802-657-4004