Wickedly Inspirational Women – Steff Mcgrath Managing Director of Something Wicked
We’ve introduced you previously to Skirt Club, the fabulous members club for curious women, founded by Genevieve Le Jeune who creates safe spaces for women to explore their sexuality. You can read that interview with Genevieve here….. They have a fabulous blog on the Skirt Club website called The Inside Slip, and have recently interviewed our very own Something Wicked MD Steff McGrath to find out more about the Something Wicked brand, the importance of UK manufacturing, and why we aim to be kinky yet conscientious! As we near Made In UK Day 2022 on the 9th of March, the message has never felt more relevant to support UK made brands.
Q: Something Wicked this way comes… I’m sorry! I couldn’t resist, darling! How did the company get its start? Who is behind Something Wicked (@wearewickeduk)?
A: Something Wicked is a luxurious brand specialising in beautiful boudoir lingerie, all of which is handmade in Britain. Before Something Wicked, I already had experience with how brands work and their strategies, as my background was previously in marketing. I knew Something Wicked would be an exciting journey, and after being introduced to the brand, I couldn’t wait to get involved. With an appreciation of beautiful lingerie and entrepreneurial spirit, I became the Managing Director of Something Wicked in 2016, and I haven’t looked back since! Something Wicked has grown into a luxurious brand with a story, empowering women to be bold, beautiful and seductive.
Q: Where exactly in Britain are the pieces made?
A: Our studio is set in an old Yorkshire mill building, in the north of England, where we manufacture all our stunning lingerie collections in-house. We have a team of skilled seamstresses who handmake each individual garment from start to finish, ensuring they are made to the highest quality. My long-term goal is definitely to keep the heart of manufacturing in the North of England.
Q: Can you talk a bit about the Made in Britain seal and what standard that sets for fashion? How has the industry changed, for better or for worse?
A: Provenance is a really important aspect of the Something Wicked brand. It’s so important for us to keep all our manufacturing in the UK, as our brand message is all about empowerment, and that has to filter down through all aspects of the brand. We strongly feel that you can’t empower women in one country and exploit them in another, which is why having transparency throughout the manufacturing process is key for us. We also use UK suppliers wherever possible. Our gorgeous leather accessories are handmade by a talented female saddler in St Albans, and our leather polish is made by an award-winning London beekeeper who makes it exclusively for Something Wicked from 100% natural ingredients. Even our luxury gift boxes are hand foiled in the UK. I wanted the lingerie to not only be provocative and elegant, but also ethical – we’re kinky and conscientious!
The past year has seen a huge rise in brands wanting to re-shore their production back to the UK off the back of COVID and Brexit, and we have definitely seen a shift away from the fast fashion mind set, where clothing is seen as disposable.
Q: Fabulous! I love how kinky and conscientious your brand is! I will definitely be buying soon… I also appreciate that you encourage people to purchase Something Wicked as “investment pieces.” What are your favourite pieces in the collection? I’m totally in love with the Montana Leather Dress. Also the Lexi Balcony Bra, especially because it actually has bra sizing.
A: We are so proud of the quality of our lingerie, it’s one thing that we hear over and over again from our customers. Each stunning piece is made to last, and we even offer a complimentary repair service on all our garments, as we want people to enjoy our lingerie for as long as possible.
It’s so hard to pick a favourite, but I think my favourite is the Mia balcony bra because it is so versatile! It is such a statement piece and looks just as amazing as a piece of outerwear, under an open jacket. It is fully adjustable at the back too, so it fits perfectly. And you feel like an absolute queen when you are wearing it! We often describe our lingerie as ‘under armour’ because you feel incredible, confident and powerful when you wear it!
Our best sellers would have to be our edgier leather items. We’ve found that the Nina demi bra and ouvert briefs do really well, and also the Montana range. We use the highest quality of Japanese plonge leather which is buttery soft and feels amazing on the skin.
Q: All excellent choices. And how should people care for their pieces so that they last?
A: Taking care of your leather pieces is not as complicated as you might think! In the same way that you have a leather jacket that is a wardrobe staple you have worn time and again, our leather pieces need a little extra effort to keep them looking great, but it is part of having a luxury product and sooo worth it. We have a leather care guide on our website to help you keep them in tip top condition.
Q: As for making pieces last, can you tell me more about the complimentary repair service? Why did you pursue this?
A: As you know, we are big fans of the slow fashion movement, and we want to encourage people to buy better, buy less, and invest in high quality pieces that are designed to stand the test of time. Repairing something doesn’t mean you can’t afford to buy something new, it means our planet can’t afford for us to throw something away. If your Something Wicked lingerie has a bra strap that needs fixing, or a suspender end that has broken, you can send it back to us and we will fix it for free! We want people to enjoy their lingerie for years to come.
Q: Your blog is also absolutely iconic. What inspired the Wickedly Inspirational Women series?
A: Thank you so much! We wanted to share amazing stories of incredible women who are all ‘owning’ their space. Each interview is so very different from another, but the thread that links them all is that they are empowered individuals who we think are amazing and inspirational! To give you an idea of some of the blogs, we have interviewed Anna who has set up an erotic platform to create porn for women, Rina who is a BDSM coach, Justine who is a professional Dominatrix, and of course Skirt Club!
Q: Speaking of, what drew you to Skirt Club? How did you get involved?
A: When I heard about Skirt Club, I knew I had to reach out and connect! There is so much synergy between Skirt Club and Something Wicked. If you had to sum up Something Wicked in one word it would be ‘Explore’, and that is at the heart of Skirt Club too, as they create safe spaces and events for women to explore and embrace their sexuality.
Q: What has been the most challenging part of having your own business? How do you overcome those challenges?
A: Running a business can be quite isolating, and it is easy to get pulled into different directions so it is important to keep stepping out of the situation and making sure everything is on the right track. It’s really important to acknowledge your weaknesses as well as your strengths and identify what areas you need support in – nobody is good at everything so never see delegation as a negative thing.
Q: That’s excellent advice. What drives you in this business? What do you hope to leave women with a sense of?
A: I think my main passion now is the fact that we are trying to grow and promote British manufacturing. Always wanting to choose that path, even though it is not necessarily the easiest or cheapest way of doing things, but it absolutely feels like the right thing to do. We are making lingerie that makes women feel incredible when they wear it, and everything surrounding that product has been done with the utmost integrity.
Q: What does empowerment mean to you?
A: Empowerment means different things to different people. I think it is so important to learn to understand yourself, to be able to make your own choices and have the confidence to be who you want to be.
Think the Skirt Club could be your next step into sexual exploration? Visit Skirt Club and explore what lies within. Don’t forget to follow them on Instagram @skirtclub, and follow @genevievelejeune for all their glamorous behind-the-scenes and personal adventures. Slip into the Skirt Club and enjoy something truly wicked, with some wickedly inspirational women…