We had the good fortune of connecting with Melissa Cherniss and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melissa, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
WHAT A QUESTION! Although I am technically a blogger. With lingerie being my main topic, I’d consider myself apart of that industry as well. Most people are unaware that 80% of bra wearing human are currently wearing the wrong size. Yep, you read that right. Seems a little high, doesn’t it? Especially when these ill-fitting garments can literally cause unnecessary migraines, shoulder and neck pain. I guess the subject is still considered a little taboo and there is a lack of education. It’s why I ALWAYS recommend going into your local lingerie boutique for a proper fitting. Yes, these places do exist and all over the country too. My favorite one here in Los Angeles is Jenette Bras (they have four different locations). When going for a fitting, it’s important to keep an open mind and not become too attached to the new size. There is this misconception that an E cup equates to a full bust, but that is not always the case. There’s a whole method behind bra sizing that is a little more complex. Again, this is why it’s essential to ditch bra shopping at stores without a bra fitter.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My story is a little unique. I knew at the age of 18, I wanted to be in the lingerie industry. I felt like a lot of the adds, styles and shopping experiences were more focused on the male gaze, rather than focusing on the needs of the customer. But a decade ago the subject was still really taboo. Of course, I chickened out, going more of the traditional route working in RTW. Years later, I woke up in a quarter-life crisis, regretting not pursuing my dream of working in the lingerie industry. So, I decided to launch a blog initially called The Lace Appeal now Haute Commotion, that would help millennials redefine their relationship with lingerie. Hoping to help reduce the high percentage of humans wearing the wrong bra size. Then, I became obsessed with finding the BEST place to shop for bras. Most stores lacked a team with fitting experience or knowledge of bras in general. After a quick Google search, I learned that speciality lingerie boutiques were a thing. I’m not talking about those stores which are adult-focused and filled with “occasional” lingerie. I mean, proper boutiques that offer fittings, and sell a variety of everyday styles. So, I did the very unconventional thing by quitting my job, putting all my belongings into storage, and set off on a cross-country trip. Visiting and reviewing over 100 speciality lingerie boutiques within the country. Connecting my readers to a store within their area. Since its launch in 2017, the blog has grown into an intimate educational resource. That is filled with posts on bra fittings, style tips, and even how to make your lingerie last longer.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’ve tried to write this section a few times to make me sound cool and interesting. But the honest truth here is, I travel a lot for work. And just enjoy being a big homebody that hardly ventures outside the bubble of DTLA. It would be a whole new experience just to venture outside my typical Pattern Bar & Whole Foods run. Okay, aside from the rare occasional beach day that is always followed by margaritas and literally the best nachos ever at Mercado in Santa Monica. Other than those few places I mentioned, I heavily rely on the help of LA blogs, specifically Love & Loathing LA, for advice.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the education from UAL: Contour Design program. My dear friend and mentor Kimmay Caldwell (@HurrayKimmay) who taught me all of the ins and outs of bra fitting. My BFF, Kaneema (@kaneema_), lingerie curve model always inspiring those around her to love their bodies. And last but not least, to my mom, who kept an open mind along this journey.
Photographer in photos: Stephanie Bordas, Brooklyn Boudoir