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“Once you try wearing luxury lingerie you will feel the difference.” -Joanna Bien
Polish brand Ewa Bien has every reason to celebrate. What started as a children’s collection thirty years ago in 1989 has developed into an internationally successful lingerie company—and family legacy. In the early nineties, founder and designer Ewa Bien took advantage of the emerging democracy and market economy in Poland to respond to the new opportunities and challenges available to women. With few swimwear options at the time, the company closed its childrenswear operations to produce swimwear and lingerie. Both categories grew steadily over the years until the strategic decision to focus solely on lingerie was made in 2015.
To help with increasing sales and expanding markets, Joanna, Bien’s daughter and a business graduate, joined the company in 2011. Together, this mother and daughter team continues to observe markets and trends and, in particular, relate this information to the needs and desires of women.
The Lingerie Journal had a chance to speak with Joanna for a behind the scenes look at Ewa Bien.
Joanna, your mother founded Ewa Bien in 1989. Growing up, what do you remember learning about lingerie and business?
I have always admired my mum and how easily she combines the role of being a successful businesswoman and mother of two. Despite long hours working she always made time for family dinner or to tell us a goodnight story. One of my first memories about lingerie was when I was thirteen years old and my mother taught me the importance of fit and also how much better well-made lingerie feels.
When I was in high school, I remember my parents going to Paris for the lingerie trade fairs. My mother always came back from Paris full of energy and ideas for the next season—and she always brought me back something special such as a lovely piece of lingerie or a beautiful dress!
What is it about the family legacy that compelled you to join the company?
Although my mother hoped that I would join the company after my studies, she knew I needed to seek my own challenges. I started an online boutique that sold Swiss chocolates in custom-packed assortments and several years later joined Ewa Bien.
In your opinion, what attracts clients to Ewa Bien?
We offer elegant, luxury lingerie for larger breasts that fit exceptionally well and helps women feel confident and feminine.
Which three pieces are your top sellers?
Safona black collection, Lea black body, Sanita bra. (Note: visuals supplied)
What is the most challenging part of your work?
I think my mother has the most difficult job. She carries much of the responsibility that involves coordinating changing fashion trends and client needs while respecting her vision and style for the brand.
What three words first come to mind when you think of Ewa Bien?
Luxury, family, colorful.
People often think of lingerie as a luxury few can afford. How do you respond to that?
I’ve always believed that for excellent quality and extraordinary design you have to pay more. Once you try wearing luxury lingerie you will feel the difference.
It is a strategic decision to manufacture Ewa Bien in Poland. Why is that important to you?
More and more clients appreciate the fact that we produce our collections in Europe rather than somewhere in China or in South Asia. That is why it is important for us to keep production in Poland.
How do you incorporate Ewa Bien lingerie into your own wardrobe? What is your personal favorite?
We carry a nice push-up bra with molded cups. As a woman with smaller breasts, I love that bra!
Where can American customers buy Ewa Bien?
We are working with La Petite Coquette in New York.
On behalf of all of us at The Lingerie Journal, Happy 30th Birthday, Ewa Bien!
Learn more about Ewa Bien