“Empowering women on a G-string, rather than a shoe string” was the theme of the Lingerie New York, a latex-and-lace-filled event supporting microfinance. Runway shows from designers Atsuko Kudo and Carine Gilson featured their new lingerie collections to support of the Seven Bar Foundation’s Microfinance for Women. The event marked the debut of Atsuko Kudo’s collection in the United States and Carine Gilson’s twenty-year anniversary in the intimates industry. W spoke to the designers, who were excited to share their insights and inspirations:

How long have you been in the lingerie industry?
Atsuko Kudo: The Atsuko Kudo label began around ten years ago and about five years ago we began our own boutique in London, which, along with our website, became the main focus of the label. We hand make everything in very limited numbers to ensure that every customer receives a very tailored service.

What was your inspiration for the spring collection?
AK: The collections are always inspired by life and beauty, but this season was inspired by certain aspects of two main decades: the 1930s and the 1940s. We handpicked moments from those times – hopefully the glamorous moments.
Carine Gilson: The Spring 2011 collection is a flash back to my first love. The 1950s glamour, Hollywood muse, the taking scene of beauty, seduction from head to toe, L.A. Confidential, and Veronica Lake.

Do you have a favorite piece from the collection?
AK: It’s always difficult to pick a favorite as it’s like choosing a favorite child! The one-piece body in grey/black with the wide brimmed hat seemed to be very popular in the room on the night of the show. I feel that it probably most epitomizes a sense of glamour and elegance. Also, the model that wore the look, Jessica B, just wore it so well – she lived it!
CG: The half moon bra is a very sophisticated and couture version of a very sexy bra. What I like the most is the asymmetrical incrustation of laces. This classical piece expresses lightness and preciousness at the same time.

Are you collaborating with other designers or stylists on current or future projects?
AK: We are currently collaborating with another designer on some pieces for one of the big cosmetics brands and it involves a mystery celebrity whose name we certainly won’t mention! You’ll have to wait for this one – all we can confirm is that it will involve latex and we hope it will look fabulous.