Welcome to the Land of Women—a New York-based label creating lingerie that’s feminine but unfussy, minimal, and comfortable. Described as “lingerie for the sport of womanhood,” Land of Women wants to empower women by making their lives a little less complicated.
Originally a collection of all-mesh pieces, the line has grown since its 2013 launch to include silky opaque fabrics and vitamin-rich skincare. Founders Mckenzie Raley and Sarah Belz have also built a cult following of women eager for bras, briefs, and loungewear that fit their lifestyles without being overtly feminine.
As a former model, Raley often found herself working with lingerie brands that led her to notice a gap in the market. Meanwhile, Belz previously worked as a merchandiser with a lingerie brand in London.
Talks of starting their own collection began soon after the women met in New York. They wanted to create a line of lingerie that could be worn every day—one that was intimate without feeling over the top. The result is a highly edited collection that focuses on only the essentials.
“From the beginning, we wanted to create a collection that had some breathing room,” says Raley. “The fashion industry is so saturated, and having fewer options seemed to be the best option. Women have enough decisions to make in a day, so we want to keep things simple.”
The label’s pared-down product line consists of underwear, bras, camisoles, slips, and loungewear made using a delicate yet supportive mesh and a fabric they call “super soft.” Milled in Italy, this fabric is silky, swim-friendly, and intended for everyday wear. Everything Land of Women designs is produced in New York’s Garment District, a decision that’s key to the brand’s quality control and production management.
“Producing in New York is a special experience. We’re constantly communicating with the family that runs our factory, making sure pieces are ready for production and samples are coming out perfectly,” says Raley. “We’re lucky to have that.”
At the label’s core is an undoubted strain of feminism, driven by female-focused design, comfort, and inspired by Raley’s roots. “I grew up in a very matriarchal family. My grandmother was a strong feminist and philanthropist, and my mom has worked with non-profits her entire life. She actually just completed her doctorate at the age of 60,” Raley explains.
In short, Land of Women is truly a for-women, by-women brand. That mindset is seen throughout everything the label does, from its comfort-first fabrics to its feminine, intimate advertising, as well as the introduction of a beautifully-designed nursing bra. “Feminism can be practiced in so many different ways, and we practice it by using real models with body types that are unrepresented in the lingerie market and by making products based on what women want.”
All of this cuts to the core of who Raley and Belz are as business owners, designers, and—of course—women.
“I think now more than ever it’s really important to practice what you preach. At the end of the day, it’s important to let people know what you’re about and be sincere about the ways in which you support it.”