Owner Carlie Quezada brings modern styles and ethically produced pieces to Birmingham.
By Cassie Kunze
Photography by Alyssa Lopatin
After working a few corporate jobs she didn’t love, Royal Oak resident Carlie Quezada wasn’t quite sure what career to follow. “It started with a dream,” she says.
Quezada, 32, had a dream she owned a lingerie store and realized this was something she could pursue. It took three years to turn the dream into a reality, and in November 2017, Quezada opened Supernatural Lingerie in Birmingham.
Quezada has been interested in lingerie for a while and fell even more in love after a stint living in Paris, where she discovered independent brands with unique perspectives on modern designs and ethical production. She says it was refreshing to see diverse styles. “It felt great putting (lingerie) on everyday knowing that it was made ethically,” she adds.
Quezada saw a need for this in Detroit. “There are so many stylish, worldly women that live here, and why shouldn’t they have access to the same quality and variety here?” she says.
The first question she asks when looking for new pieces is about the company’s production. Quezada researches and visits trade shows before buying for her store. “Most of the brands that I carry are difficult to find in the U.S., especially in Michigan,” she says, adding she speaks in person with most of the designers to learn about their approach and production process.
Along with ethical production, modern design is important for Quezada. She aspires to offer something different for women looking for lingerie outside of the traditional beige T-shirt bras or floral lace. Quezada says wearing lingerie that reflects her personal style transformed her body image, and she aims to create a welcoming space for women to feel comfortable exploring their personal styles.
Quezada also loves flirting with the line between “underwear and outerwear.” She offers a variety of sheer bodysuits and higher neck bra styles that make great layering pieces — perhaps peeking out of a sweater or a button-down blouse.
When asked about the commonly quoted statistic that most women wear the wrong bra size, Quezada says it’s a funny phenomenon. “Many brands manufacture with different sizing standards — no one is the same size in every brand.” She adds women’s bodies are always changing, even week to week with hormones and stress. She says she will do a formal fitting but doesn’t like to prescribe a definitive number. “I try not emphasize the number as part of the fit because it’s just a ratio, and people often get hung up on a number,” she says.
Customers often pop in searching for bachelorette party and bridal shower gifts, including lingerie pieces, robes and fun accessories like garters. Quezada says popular gifts include pasties, fringe blindfolds and panty exchanges — a common bachelorette and wedding shower tradition where guests buy the bride underwear and she guesses who purchased it.
Lifestyle blogger Danielle Morabito, 27, of Royal Oak is getting married in September and purchased a lingerie set for her honeymoon. Morabito says the modern design is what drew her to the set — she felt it could be worn as more than lingerie.
“I can wear this multiple times as opposed to something that is so cookie-cutter. It’s sexy, fun and different,” Morabito says , adding Supernatural Lingerie’s modern and unique styles are worth the higher-end pricing.
When shopping for yourself, Quezada suggests being open to trying new things. “Try one thing you would never normally pick and one thing that really catches your eye, because you just never really know what may be your new favorite thing,” she says.
As for what piece every woman should have in her lingerie drawer, Quezada says it should be whatever makes you feel great. Whether that’s an everyday bralette or an elaborate, embroidered underwired top, she says “every person should have at least one set that makes you feel like an absolute goddess.”
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303 E. Maple Road, Birmingham