Founded by Nadia Boujo and Kathrin Hake, BOUJO HAKE create underwear and basic staples. Minimal and luxurious, their styles are beautifully simple; their materials of the finest quality. There is an innate sensuality to all their pieces despite the overwhelming aesthetic being neutral, the founding principle being that true sensuality comes from people themselves and that people are their best selves in simple, meticulously cut garments made from exceptional, traditional materials.
Sustainability is an absolute integral part of their brand and informs every stage. It’s about buying far less, buying far better. Materials such as certified Organic Cotton, Recycled Cashmere and Wild Wool are being used, and all garments are made in the UK, working with factories that have laws in place to protect the environment as well as their workers. Packaging is minimal and the envelopes are made from recycled coffee cups (a tiny attempt to address the issue of over 7 million paper cups being thrown away every day in the UK and only 1 in 400 get recycled) Sustainability is not lip service for BOUJO HAKE, it’s not greenwashing but there are no easy answers.
Tell us about your brand and how you came about?
"BOUJO HAKE was created and launched in Primrose Hill by us - London neighbours, Nadia Boujo and Kathrin Hake. Frustrated at the extremes that we observed in underwear: on the one hand, overly sexy, intricate designs; on the other the poorly-fitting styles from high street brands, we identified a clear niche. Despite growing up in entirely different worlds – I grew up in NW London; Kathrin in Essen, Germany – we have an overridingly similar style with clear staples that we’ve always had.
I suppose the very, very initial seed for the brand was simple. It came from the shared desire to find the crop top to wear under T shirts. A crop top that was a beautiful organic quality, meticulously cut, made to last (we were wearing cheap high street brand ones at the time) and able to be worn everyday and for special occasions.
This seed grew into making other wireless bras – which were not ubiquitous at the time - into making all the classic styles that we had worn for literally years and years (tank tops, T-shirts, Slouch Pants) but yet always struggled to find the right one. Our wardrobes are full of white vest tops but it’s the details and quality that makes a piece."
What’s your biggest challenge as a brand?
"Our biggest challenge as a brand is to ensure that we are truly sustainable – which we can’t compromise – but also be able to reinvest and drive a healthy business from a financial perspective. There really are no shortcuts and there is no getting around the fact that it’s more costly and time-consuming to make things in a sustainable way. Another challenge is to educate ourselves and our customers without being dogmatic, preachy and over-earnest. We don’t take ourselves or anything too seriously, yet it’s important for us to be thoughtful and not diminish important issues."
Tell us your favourite quote, mantra or best piece of advice
"We not massive fans of the quote and soundbite culture - we’re all about slow and long hand - but if we had to…..
'Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong' - Oscar Wilde or 'Es gibt nichts Gutes, ausser man tut es.' - Erich Kästner.
I don’t understand it, but Kathrin tells me it’s uber profound and it’s in a foreign language so it sounds sehr gut. "
Tell us your proudest moment as a business
"Being featured in a Daily Telegraph article amongst the big lingerie guns and by Polly Vernon in Grazia."
Who are your heroes?
"Gael Garcia Bernal or Ryan Gosling (for their intellect...)"
What is your favourite discovery from A LITTLE FIND?
"Fisherman’s Scarf – we both are massive fans of ridiculously oversized woollen polo necks, with very high necks but struggle to get them under our winter coats. Fisherman’s Scarf solves this problem. Like a snood but very not like a snood. It also subtly and beautifully addresses the mask shortage issue!"
What are your three favourite shops?
"Merci, Paris. Postcard Teas, Dering Street, London. Richard Dare Kitchen Shop, Primrose Hill, London."
(Photo Richard Dare Kitchen Shop on BIRA)
What's your best life hack?
"Cliché but true – sport will always lift your mood. Running outside for us."
What are your favourite places to hideaway?
"Nadia: The Hill Garden and Pergola in Hampstead Heath. Kathrin: The little hill in the Oberolmer forest in Mainz Lerchenberg"
(Photo The Hill and Pergola, Hampstead Heath on Secret London)
Now, let’s have a little fun and FIND out about you...
- Bubble Bath or Hot Shower - Me, shower. Kathrin, being German, tries to minimise her washing so I’d say basin wash for her... and barely twice a week
- Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter - Summer every time – any chance to prance in BOUJO HAKE
- Cinema or Theatre - Theatre
- Paperback or Kindle - Paperback
- Yoga or Run - Run, run, RUN!
- Pressed Juice or Cocktail - Wine
- Serums or Oils - Hmm we're stumped