Bringing 'sexy' back to lingerie

No more granny panties, says Stefanie Mnayarji, co-founder of lingerie start-up Luxxie Boston. Mnayarji left a career in quantitative finance to face a new equation: how to highlight a woman's sexy curves without compromising style or comfort.

"You can think of us as Agent Provocateur meets Under Armour," Mnayarji said. "In the year 2014 women deserve to no longer have to torture themselves to look good."

The company launched a Kickstarter campaign six weeks ago, and Mnayarji said Luxxie Boston broke through its funding goal by 211 percent. But will our "Power Pitch" panelists get behind the start-up?

Watch Stefanie Mnayraji show off her big idea in just 60 seconds to the panel of angel investor Divya Gugnani, Cuurio Chief Marketing Officer Kelly Hoey and FirstMark capital founder Lawrence Lenihan. The segment was hosted by CNBC's Mandy Drury. Will this founder slip up or will her sexy pitch sell? Watch the above video to find out

Shaping Up

Mnayarji told CNBC she was tired of adjusting her skirt and dealing with other wardrobe malfunctions during the workday.


Luxxie Boston’s standard slip
Source: Luxxie Boston Images
Luxxie Boston’s standard slip

"I absolutely hated wearing shapewear as it was unsightly and insanely uncomfortable," she said.

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So 18 months ago, she decided to research the concept of a stylish slip. She collaborated with faculty members from MIT, the Fashion Institute of Technology and Parsons, and beta-tested her product on more than 60 women— lawyers, fashion editors, doctors, tenured track professors and even nursing moms from sizes 0-16. Mnayarji and her husband, Michael Gordon, then stitched together Luxxie Boston, a direct-to-consumer e-commerce start-up.

The couple said they've developed a 92 percent washable silk slip with a support system that gives women a seamless silhouette without suffocation. The start-up targets females ages 25-40. The company is headquartered in Boston, but all slips are made in Los Angeles. Mnayarji would not disclose the manufacturer.

"This is not your grandmother's stuffing polyester slip or sausage case feeling of shape-wear," she said.

Busting through the competition

Luxxie Boston’s platinum cami
Source: Luxxie Boston Images
Luxxie Boston’s platinum cami

Luxxie Boston offers three undergarments: a camisole, slip and maxi slip. They come in six colors and are available for presale with an expected arrival date in October.

Gugnani asked how Luxxie Boston differs from the competition.

Some competitors do not use any silk, she said, adding that "a 92 percent silk-blend material is actually rather pricey." She told the panel she's created a luxury product that's "actually affordable" because of its e-commerce model.

The cami's presale price is $199, while the slip is $239, and the maxi $295. Luxxie Boston's online store launched this past Monday.

Other luxury lingerie e-commerce brands like Fleur du Mal prices slips from $175 to $365, while the chic Italian-based La Perla prices shape-wear anywhere from $162 to $1,600.

Earlier this year, Market Research firm Ibis World reported that the $13 billion lingerie industry is growing at an annual rate of 3.3 percent. But the start-up may struggle to maintain its sex appeal battling market frontrunners like Victoria's Secret, the largest American retailer of lingerie.

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L Brands, the parent company of Victoria's Secret , reported second quarter net sales of $2.675 billion this August. Smaller e-commerce companies like start-up True & Co matches customers to custom-fit bras, and has already raised $6 million in funding.

Luxxi Boston’s maxi slip
Source: Luxxi Boston Images
Luxxi Boston’s maxi slip

Lucrative Lingerie?

Mnayarji and Gordon self-funded their company with $50,000 and raised $22,000 in presales via Kickstarter, but they have not raised any venture capital.

Luxxie Boston said it has sold more than 200 units in pre-orders in just over six weeks, but would not disclose monthly revenue.

Mnayarji said Luxxie Boston is already profitable and projects about $1.2 million in sales in its first year.

See Stefanie Mnayraji make her power pitch for silky start-up, Luxxie Boston, to the panel with angel investor Divya Gugnani, Cuurio Chief Marketing Officer Kelly Hoey, and FirstMark Capital founder Lawrence Lenihan. The segment was hosted by CNBC's Mandy Drury.

—By CNBC's Joanna Weinstein

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