The team of the Lithuanian underwear brand JURE has created a great introduction to our conversation while telling us about themselves, which is how we’ll start this second popup.lt interview with community designers: “We are quite modest and do not want to publish our names and surnames. We are not hiding, but we want to let the JURE brand be the person that speaks for itself. We share the same last name, and we’re a small creative family, so JURE , one could say, has almost personified itself and become another family member, with its own individual character, taste, and personality.”
The JURE brand was founded in 1991. Tell the story of the JURE brand. How did you start your work, and how did it change over the years?
It all started with the first beauty contests in Lithuania. Designer Giedrė, after completing a degree in clothing modeling at, what then was, Steponas Žukas Technical School, actively participated in various cultural and entertainment activities. So, during the first beauty contest in Lithuania in Kaunas, Miss Student (Mis Studentė), she was offered to be the main artist of the event. Collections of dresses and swimwear were sewn for the participants of the event. Giedrė was very intrigued by swimwear, and she decided to dive into a completely new world as she felt that this could be her path. In addition to her interest in swimwear, Giedrė also became interested in underwear. At that time, there was a huge lack of information about technology and construction, but the interest in this niche was too strong to take the easy way out. After several years of work and accumulating knowledge in this field, Giedrė was once again flooded with offers to create collections in competitions in already independent Lithuania. Thus, underwear and swimwear became the foundation of the brand. Later, as the circumstances changed, we had to change as well: there were changes in both the main assortment and our buyer’s profile, while underwear was always somewhere nearby, quietly playing a secondary role. Once the pandemic started, this change became inevitable. It was almost a matter of life and death for our family business, as our products remained on the shelves of physical stores, and we did not exist online. And so JURE was born. Naturally, as the brand was born in the virtual space, the younger generation got involved in the process. While discussing who we are and who we want to be, we decided to return to our roots. Now, this cross-generational collaboration is already our daily routine, so what we create is a synthesis of different approaches built on a solid foundation of knowledge and experience in this craft.
How would you describe the aesthetic of the underwear you create?
JURE underwear is often characteristic and patterned; we certainly wouldn’t call them minimalistic. However, we always think about functionality and practicality. JURE underwear is not intended to decorate drawers but to decorate a person. Hence, the variety of colors and patterns lies in elaborate comfortable constructions and comfortable silhouettes that can be easily adapted to everyday life.
What are the most important values for the JURE brand?
Direct dialogue with our buyers is and will always be the most important thing for our brand. We highly value our customers’ comments because when working in a small team (and in a family), it’s not always easy to view yourself from the side and evaluate your work objectively. Just like flowers don’t grow without sun and water, we don’t grow without compliments and comments from our followers and customers. In recent years, the growing concern about the environmental damage in the fashion industry has undoubtedly affected us as well. Along with our new name, we started producing products on a made-to-order basis (the product is only made once an order is placed). We also often recycle our old warehouse products and re-design or re-engineer them into new relevant products. This working principle requires more time, but in this way, we feel more honest with ourselves and others. Even in small, relatively invisible steps, we try to make responsible decisions – for example, our labels are handmade from unused fabric remnants, and the products are sent out from the JURE workshop in envelopes made from recycled materials.
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Another very important value for us is quality. Underwear is the garment closest to the body, so we promised ourselves not to use polyester and other fabrics that are not suitable for wearing on the body. We do not compromise on safety based on the lower price of the product and the longer term of wearing the garment. Maybe not everyone will notice and understand it, but it’s very important to us.
As you already mentioned, underwear is the closest garment to a woman’s body. What have you learned from your customers over the years? What is most important to them when choosing underwear?
Since most of our products are created based on a made-to-order principle, this means several things: first of all, it helps us produce more sustainably, without wasting materials or creating excess. It also allows us to take a more individual look at each customer, not printing products according to standards but considering individual needs. When producing our products, we never refer to customers by an order number but rather by name, and we really hope that they sense this. It’s not so easy to single out what is most important to our customers when choosing underwear. Underwear must combine a whole complex of properties – comfort, freedom of movement, but at the same time support in certain places, permeability to air and moisture, and, of course, aesthetics. There is no “one-size-fits-all” underwear; our bodies are very different, as are our wearing preferences, habits, and style. And it’s not always visible on the outside. You’d be surprised how the style a person declares on the outside can differ from what they choose to wear closest to their body. So if we had to name what we’ve learned, it would be to respect everyone’s individuality and to listen. And we are still constantly learning.
A positive attitude toward a woman’s body is being talked about more and more in public. How do you view this ongoing change?
The standard of beauty is a constantly changing phenomenon. However, it’s interesting to see whether this change will not deviate from the standard in the long run. Liberation from standardized benchmarks may be possible, and we are watching this process with curiosity, wanting to be a part of it. We’re all for body diversity; the most important thing is how we feel in our own bodies. In general, there is a need for a more positive attitude towards many things, and the subject of the human body, not only female, is one of them. Maybe we are talking in clichés, but this is the truth that has been repeated many times.
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What does your creative space look like?
As the Western creation myth states, in the beginning, there was Chaos. And chaos is the beginning of creativity – so our creative space is no exception. Here we’re surrounded by many mirrors, beautiful things, perfumes, jewelry, art, and fashion albums. In the studio, there is a century-old royal grand piano, a turntable, and a fireplace. We feel cozy here.
Is your studio organized or more of a creative chaos?
It often looks like chaos on the outside, but in reality, even this chaos has some order. Underwear products are extremely small and consist of even smaller details. Therefore, if sewing tools, knitwear, and various accessories did not have their place, our studio would be a perfect environment for madness. It’s necessary to return to the state of order regularly as there’s never a shortage of challenges that test our patience in our work.
What kind of music could we hear playing in your creative studio?
Oh, our musical moods change very spontaneously. Music helps us travel across continents and eras in our studio. We also have our so-called guilty pleasures, which we regularly tease each other with. Now we are longing for the approaching spring. Our studio is next to the forest, so that live orchestra of rustling trees and chirping birds is the most inspiring music during the warm season. Followers of JURE’s social accounts have probably already noticed our love for music. We regularly include excerpts of lyrics in our posts and share our musical inspirations, while our order packages are decorated with quotes from the most iconic musicians.