Interview | Moons & Junes
Moons and Junes is a Copenhagen-based lingerie brand devoted to providing an everyday luxury to women. They celebrate uniqueness through a devotion to help women feel beautiful and confident in their own skin. Lingerie that aren’t just designed to look good; they’ are made for your body and your needs.
Comfort, quality and real women as models, we needed to find out more. Lou chatted with founder of Moons and Junes, Agnete Bjerre-Madsen. And asked about the beginnings of the brand and the women featured in the campaigns.
PLEASE CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOU, AND MOONS & JUNES?
My name is Agnete Bjerre-Madsen, I’m 24 years old and the founder of the Danish intimates brand, Moons and Junes. At Moons and Junes we work to empower women to feel comfortable and beautiful in their own skin by providing them with high quality, well-designed underwear. In essence we make; no underwire, no padding, no bullshit underwear.
WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND, AND HOW DID YOU START MAKING UNDERWEAR, WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION?
I’m a sociology major from Copenhagen, I’ve never studied design or fashion. I guess my academic background can be seen in Moons and Junes, as it’s motivated by a mission rather than by a product. Thinking back on my teen years, I (like oh so many others) suffered from low self-esteem and body insecurities. I found myself compromising with comfort in order to fit into the socially constructed ideal of beauty. In the midst of my should-I-get-implants-and-botox-phase, I was fortunate enough to take part in a two-year educational movement, called the United World College, which aims at bringing people, nations and cultures together. I cannot put enough emphasis on what UWC did to me.
At UWC there was room for everyone independently of race, culture and sexuality. To sum it up in the most clichéd way possible I learned to appreciate beauty of diversity and the importance of representation. I made it my mission to advocate that realism is beautiful.
Underwear became a symbol of this mission. In collaboration with a very talented designer we hosted focus groups and a ton of fittings, to learn exactly what boobs and buts look and feel like. We quickly found that when underwear just sit comfortably around your features, you lost the feeling that your bra distorts your look, you know? No pushing, pulling, tightening or tugging – that was extremely empowering.
YOU USE REAL WOMEN AS YOUR MODELS, WITH A WARTS AND ALL AESTHETIC WHICH WE LOVE. CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT THAT?
I hate the idea that men and women all over the try to tick various boring boxes to match socially constructed beauty ideals. We’re constantly bombarded with beauty related mandates that distract us from doing things that actually matter. I hope that Moons and Junes can provide women with their daily dose of realism by reminding us that a body is just a body, everyone has one; dark, fair, young, old, slim or not, cis or not. We just want people that feel beautiful in our products to be part of our campaigns. And on a highly important sub-note I think it’s worth asking ourselves why we strive to tick narrowly defined boxes. When we ask that question it becomes fairly obvious that inclusivity is not ‘just’ about self-love, it’s about recognising oppressive behaviours.
WE LOVE THE #BITSANDBOOBS SECTION OF YOUR WEBSITE, AND THE MESSAGE BEHIND IT. CAN YOU TELL US MORE?
Yees! Bits and Boobs is all about people being people and breasts being breasts. Simply put, it is a space where women can upload unedited pictures of their chest area to a photo gallery, which will be left untouched. There are a lot of expectations to breasts; they should be firm, round, smooth, perky, bigger than a C cup, yet smaller than DD… It’s ridiculous. The buses in Copenhagen are currently covered in banners showcasing the ‘perfect breasts’ advertised by a cosmetic surgery firm. The exclusivity of beauty is very boring to me. #bitsandboobs aims at normalising lumps, bumps by creating a collection of boobs from all over the world.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE STARTING UP THEIR OWN BUSINESS FROM SCRATCH?
To me, the main ‘ingredient’ is passion. If I wasn’t passionate about Moons and Junes I wouldn’t have been able to stay motivated. So I guess my advice is that you (insofar you’re interested in having a start up) should find something you’re passionate about, cause if you’re passionate about your project you’ll find that you cannot not do it.
DO YOU EVER EXPERIENCE SELF DOUBT AND WHAT STEPS DO YOU TAKE TO OVERCOME IT?
Yes, I most certainly do. I think it’s part of being human, and that’s ok. I don’t think self-doubt is always that bad; it keeps me on my toes. And personally, my self-doubt doesn’t feel destructive nor does it derail me from what I set out to accomplish, which I realise is a privilege.
CAN YOU TELL US YOUR MORNING ROUTINE, FROM WAKING TO OUT THE DOOR?
I don’t sleep with the blind down and as I have a big window right next to my bed, it’s daylight bright from around 6am. I’m always hungry when I wake up and I love eating big dinner leftovers for breakfast. Yum. I drink a large glass of water and put on the kettle to prepare a cup of black tea. Again, yum. As my food and tea is cooking I make my way to the bathroom and wash my face, apply moisturiser, gel my brows, bend my lashes and occasionally top it off with some bronzer. Take off my onesie. Brush my hair. Put on clothes. At the end of it, I jump on my bike and ride to work.
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU DO FOR A SELF-CARE RITUAL?
Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. I sleep a lot. I used to feel that I didn’t have time to get enough sleep, but as I’m getting increasingly better at saying ‘no’ to things, I found that I have plenty of time to sleep. It’s a priority.
YOU ARE BASED IN COPENHAGEN, DENMARK – ARE WE ABLE TO BUY YOUR LINGERIE WORLDWIDE?
Yeees. Luckily – we ship worldwide. And on top of that we’re working with incredible partners that have store fronts in various cities in the US and Europe. Check our Where to buy on www.moons-junes.com.
WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR MOONS AND JUNES?
The aim is simply put to get even more beautiful beings to feel bomb in their Moons and Junes.