Culture 17 September 2018
You might say lingerie designer Kaila Methven’s career started with girl meets boy. “I met this divine French man and he invited me to a party. He was a senior and I was a freshman in high school. We officially started dating in my later teens. I would see him every Friday night and spend the weekend with him. I would put on a striptease show and have a new piece of lingerie every time. I always kept it on and he never forgot even one. I had bras for every occasion. I fell in love with the fact that he fell in love with the persuasion of lingerie. This is what brought me to where I am today.”
Methven says the inspiration for her designs come from a variety of places, including, the Venice Carnival.
The KFC heiress is the founder and CEO of Madame Methven, a lingerie line that is “inspired by the intoxicating memories of falling in love” and that, Methven says, will “awaken the dominatrix in every woman.” Her pieces are known for “making definitive statements of female dominance.” Her designs are produced in silk and high-quality embellishments such as hand-corded dentelle lace appliqués, gold, Tahitian pearls, diamonds, emeralds, or sapphires “individually placed by hand creating a world of fantasy for day and night.”
She’s dressed Demi Lovato, Katherine McPhee, and the Kardashians, and her work has appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, and Business Insider. Methven was born in Santa Monica and moved to Paris when she was sixteen-years-old. She worked hard to get where she is, studying art and design at the historic fashion institute Esmod and receiving a Masters from the International Fashion Academy Paris, with extended training from Polymodo in Florence.
She offers several different lines under the Madame Methven name – Latrodectus, a haute couture line; Mademoiselle, a semi couture line; and LBKM, a more affordable line with pieces ranging from $20.00 - $80.00.
She also offers a service called Madame Methven’s Made to Adore, through which clients can access lingerie fittings with trained specialists in their showroom or even elsewhere. Members are also invited to special events, fashion shows, and the like. Think lingerie VIP.
Methven says the most rewarding thing about her work is the creativity it allows and how it makes her clients smile. “I love receiving messages and phone calls about the amazing experiences that they’ve had while wearing Madame Methven.”
As for challenges, Methven has had her share. She’s had professors laugh at her creations. She’s had people tell her she’d never make it, that she was a joke, that no one would ever wear her lingerie, that it was just a dream, and that she was a nobody. “Most people could not see my vision. But I had a vision of creating an empire, of selling a sexual experience. It’s a fantasy. Most people can’t read your mind and understand this. So, I forgive them.” Methven says the truth is that the only one who really can fully believe in your success is you.
Being the CEO of a company, she says, means there are always decisions to be made and that a positive attitude, an open mind, a lot of love, and plenty of passion for what you do are required.
Methven has enjoyed many happy surprises throughout her career. She won best international designer of the year twice. She was nominated as the most dynamic woman of the year in Los Angeles. She’s appeared on a variety of talk shows, had her work in a plethora of publications, and her work has been worn by celebrities, icons, and even princesses.
Methven says the inspiration for her designs come from a variety of places, including, the Venice Carnival. “It was created in the 13th century. During this time, you could become whoever you wanted, and everybody had the chance to be whoever they wanted for one night. Their costumes could be as extravagant as they wanted, the carnival set no limits on imagination and creativity.”
In addition to spending time living in Paris, Methven also traveled across Europe, which fueled her creativity in a variety of ways. Still today, she says, she is continuously inspired by all of the experiences life presents to her.
One of the biggest challenges Methven has faced, she says, is that she never really knows who her true friends are. “In business, you must be cautious, because everybody wants you for one thing. Loyalty, along with confidentiality, is very important to me. You must be aware always. To me, it’s something you just live with in everyday life and overcome as time passes.” She says she’s learned, and is continually learning to be strong, to trust herself, to follow her instincts, and to keep “the people with genuine interest in her well-being close to her heart.”
Methven says she she’s always dreamed of running an empire. The requirements suit her. Being the CEO of a company, she says, means there are always decisions to be made and that a positive attitude, an open mind, a lot of love, and plenty of passion for what you do are required.
In five years, Methven is expecting her company to hit between $6-10 million in profit. Ultimately, she’d like to have ten boutiques locally and internationally. “We don’t want to be remembered online only.” She says she knows that’s possible because her lingerie is designed to make men and women fall in love, again and again. “Let’s just say, you keep the lingerie on the entire time. I believe that every woman deserves to feel sexy and wanted.” Madame Methven, she says, is here to take lingerie to the next level.
Photo Credit: afewgoodclicks.com
In 2016, Renee Wang sold her home in Bejing for $500,000 to fund her company, CastBox. Two months later, she landed her first investment. Just a half hour after hearing her pitch, she was offered one million dollars. By mid-2017, CastBox raised a total of $16 million in funding. CastBox's user numbers at that point? Seven million. Fast forward to today. Renee Wang of CastBox announces a $13.5 million Series B round of financing, bringing her funding total to a tidy $29 million. CastBox is now serving more than 15 million users.