What's In A Name?
One of the most important things to know about the ThirdLove brand is actually, well, three things. Co-founder Heidi Zak explains the thinking behind the (somewhat mystifying) name.
[Ra'el (left) and Heidi (right) concepting upcoming styles in the San Francisco HQ office]
We spent months brainstorming and going back and forth before we landed on the name. If you think about the products you gravitate to in your closet: You love the style, you love the feel, and you love the fit. Those three things are what we think about when designing each and every bra.
We care about style.
Bras on the market generally fall into two categories. There are those that are really, really comfortable and that probably fit pretty well--but you don’t want to be caught dead in them. Those are the functional bras; they’re not pretty, but they get the job done. They’re supportive and comfortable. Then, at the other end of the spectrum, there are really gorgeous bras that are lace or whatever, but they don't provide the fit you need or the comfort. Those are the bras that end up sitting in your lingerie drawer that you look at and don't wear. We really blend both ends of the spectrum, the best of both worlds. We create beautiful, stylish bras that also are comfortable.
A bra is comfortable when it feels good.
What I mean is the quality of the materials, like the fabrics and the small details. Our customers say our bras are super comfortable because we use a really soft microfiber and thin memory foam that molds to your natural shape, like in our 24/7™ Classic T-Shirt Bra. And none of our hook-and-eye closures have tags on them—my back was always itching from bra tags! When Ra’el Cohen, head of design, and I started the company, we talked a lot about how we were going to care about the little things—and it costs money to do that. That hook and eye increases production costs, which is why you won’t see it elsewhere on bras under $100. Those are the kinds of things we think about when designing a product that you won’t mind having against your skin, that you might even forget you have on by the end of the day.
Fit is the most important, though.
In general for bras, fit is so hard. We really focus on and always come back to: How do we create bras that fit better and will be more comfortable? They are one and the same, really. A lot of times women will tell us, “Your bras are so comfortable.” Comfort comes from a great fit; they are interchangeable. But fit, to us, is a very nuanced word. It’s also about being able to figure out the right size and style for each individual woman. We’ve all read so many articles about bra sizing, and it’s so damn confusing. In our iOS app and the Fit Finder® quiz on our website, there are multiple ways for a woman to find her best size and style - and we’ll make a recommendation to help her. In order to purchase a bra online, the customer has to be really comfortable with her size -- and ordering a half size, if that’s what she needs. Everything we do really does center around helping every woman find her best fit.
Now, let’s talk about tech.
We are a product design-driven company, but we’re also located in the heart of the Silicon Valley tech world. But we'd never call ourselves a tech-first company. Our technology is built to support the customer journey, to support a woman finding her best fit, to create an easier and more convenient shopping experience, and to help us develop better products. It's about one woman at a time finding the right size, the right bra for her. That’s the best kind of technology—you don’t think about it; you use it because it makes your life easier.
And we like that the meaning is ambiguous.
We went with the name because it makes people always ask the question -- what does ThirdLove mean? One of our company values is being curious and always wanting to learn, so we believed having a name that engages our customer was a positive. The most common question I get is, “Is your first love your husband, then your kids, and then lingerie?” I find this funny because, before I started the company, it’s not like I was a lingerie aficionado. But, in a way, it is true—there are only three things I (barely!) have time for: my husband, our two kids (3 years and 6 months), and the company.
So, just like the women who wear--and love--our bras, we think every day about our products' feel, style, and fit.