By Meredith Lepore
Updated July 09, 2015
© Kava Gorna / Negative Underwear

Finding that perfect pair of underwear and bra is a surprisingly challenging quests in life. And when you find undergarments that don’t feel like you are wearing anything it is even better (especially in summer). But underwear like that is hard to come by. Cue Marissa Vosper and Lauren Schwab, the co­founders behind new luxury lingerie brand, Negative Underwear. Named the best comfortable lingerie by New York Magazine, less is truly more with this brand.

Vosper and Schwab started the company after meeting at the University of Pennsylvania as undergrads and bonding over their love of design and fashion. After pursuing separate careers in New York City—Schwab in finance, Vosper in brand consulting—they started taking classes together at the Fashion Institute of Technology as the idea for Negative Underwear started to come to life. With briefs starting at $28 and the bras at $70 it is also budget friendly. The duo just recently launched their first ‘Nude v1’ collection, which they celebrated with a pop­up store in SoHo. We caught up with the duo and asked them how they work and play.

What is your design process?

Marissa Vosper: Our design process is largely shaped by focusing on what we're not ­ we're not French, we're not frilly, we don’t even know anyone that has a boudoir! When making design decisions we’re inspired by negative space and the concept of ‘less is more’ ­ no lace, no flowers, no bows, no ribbons, no padding, no tags, no fuss ­ just simple, high quality, high performance materials that all serve a function and actually feel good on the body. We’re very tactile in our product development process ­ the feel of our materials matters more than most anything.

From a style perspective, we look for the unexpected ­ we want to stand out, not add more of the same. We try to find textiles and materials that are unique in the lingerie space.

What do you eat on a typical work day?

MV: I’ve been on smoothies in the morning for years ­ I feel so much better throughout the day without a heavy meal first thing in the morning and it’s the easiest way to get in good protein, fiber, fat, greens... I typically make them at home. For lunch I try to eat mainly vegan ­ Juice Press is my go­to (their kelp noodles are the best). If it’s not too packed I love Sweetgreen for a salad. If I’m out for a lunch date, The Butcher’s Daughter and Two Hands Cafe are my top picks.

Lauren Schwab: I try to have a smoothie I make at home for breakfast most mornings. For lunch, I stick to what’s local + easy – the Juice Press, the Smile to Go for their salads or sandwiches, Greek for their greek salad or Sunrise Mart for their sushi – all Soho favorites.

Where do you like to dine out?

MV: I currently live in Soho ­ some local favorites are Sant Ambroeus, Blue Ribbon Sushi, Jack’s Wife Freda and Charlie Bird. That said, I spent many years in the West Village and the restaurants there are the best ­ Mary’s Fish Camp, Cafe Cluny and Perry Street are some of the spots we go out of our way to frequent.

LS: Eating out is one of my favorite activities. I have many go­to favorites like Momoya in Chelsea, ABC Kitchen near Union Square and Lupa in the West Village to name a few. I also love exploring new places – Bohemian and Santina are on my shortlist!

What's usually in your fridge?

MV: Almond milk, fruits, greens, nut butters, protein and chia seeds.... I also keep things like probiotics and prebiotics (sauerkraut and kimchee) in the fridge since that stuff keeps and is always good to have on hand. My time for cooking these days is minimal (sadly), so I tend to only keep fresh foods if I’m specifically hosting a dinner party.

LS: I rarely eat at home, so not much. Typically, I have at least almond milk, almond butter, eggs and hot sauce.

What is the food you can't resist?

MV: OMG chocolate ­ and maybe coconut milk ice cream. I’m a total sucker for vegan ice cream. You feel healthier but the reality is pretty much the same.

LS: There are a lot of things that fall into that category because I love food – sushi, fresh pasta, baja tacos, croques monsieur, and anything chocolate.

What is your typical style for a day on the job?

MV: I’ve become very monochrome / tonal in my style lately ­ all white, all grey, shades of blacks mixed with navy, or pinks mixed with blush... It feels somehow more pulled together, especially if you throw a blazer over top ­ that’s always my solution. That said, I’m a loyal jeans girl ­ especially white jeans and flairs ­ I just keep collecting pairs! Some of my go­to clothing brands (obviously with Negative underneath!) are Isabel Marant, AYR, Frame Denim, IRO and Zara.

LS: After working in a conservative professional environment for many years, where I wore mostly black pencil skirts and dresses with blazers, I’ve relished the flexibility to wear whatever I want.For our first year in business, I found myself resorting to a uniform of skinny jeans, a Negative Muscle Tee, and Negative bras + underwear. Now that it’s summer, I’m trying to push myself to wear the many other clothes that fill my closet –dresses, overalls, crop tops and even heels.

What are your favorite beauty products?

MV: I’m a big fan of RMS for bronzer and light foundation and Kjaer Weis for cream blush. Guerlain powder bronzer has been on my beauty shelf for years ­ it’s the best I’ve found. I always keep a range of mascaras to blend ­ Chanel, RMS and Rimmel are my personal favorites.
That said, the few time I’ve had lash extensions (which I love, but use sparingly), you basically don’t need makeup, which is pretty incredible. When I don’t have extensions I use Revitalash ­ it really works for me.

LS: For skincare, I’m pretty minimal – sticking to Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, Skinceuticals C E Ferulic + La Roche Posay SPF 60 – with regular visits to my facialist. From a make­up perspective, I love Bite Beauty Lab lipsticks, Kat Von D liquid eyeliner, and Benefit Watt’s Up.