Cheek Frills founder Lily Fortescue on why you should wear comfy knickers

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While we all know and love Rosie Fortescue, the uber-stylish Made in Chelsea star and brains behind cult style blog At Fashion Forte, it's her twin, Lily, we've got our eyes on at the moment.

Born and raised in London's Chelsea, Lily has taken the retail world by storm with her kooky knicker brand Cheek Frills, available now at Fenwick Bond Street as the perfect gift for Valentine's Day. We caught up with the gorgeous entrepreneur to chat about starting a business, her style inspiration and why women are starting to Instagram their knickers...

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So, what is Cheek Frills all about?

Cheek Frills has been in the making for about four years as an effort to find the softest knickers in the world that last the test of time - and the washing machine. It's also about having that tactile, butter-soft model that makes you feel good in your knickers – they don't make you feel bad that you ate a pizza by digging into you, but instead mould to your shape. It's friendly, supportive underwear.

There was also a real gap in the market for a sense of fun with knickers – something to make you smile when you put them on in the morning. We launched in November 2012 and really got the traction with the brand. We started with our Days of the Week set and a box of Fashion Jet-set knickers based on London, New York Paris and Milan. We wanted something that would make people smile and want to Instagram – being interactive is really important to the brand.  

The point of difference with Cheek Frills is that you can bespoke the underwear with fun embroidered words, so people want to take a picture of what they’re wearing. People would be lifting up their dresses wanting to show you the brand – that’s something we’ve never seen before!

What are your most popular designs?

For my friend Millie McKintosh I did "Stephen’s Mrs." on the bum (referring to her husband Stephen Manderson, rapper Professor Green).  From posting that photo on Instagram we got around 50 orders for a husband’s name on the bum. Celebrities will also put their Instagram names on their knickers. 

I also love our palm tree print, our flamingos and our watermelons, but our emoji design has been our bestseller.

Instagram: @cheekfrills1

What made you get into fashion?

I’ve always read Vogue cover to cover and I’ve always loved the fashion industry, but I’ve never been a slave to it. A lot of my friends have brands and are high up in fashion, but it happened very organically with my business partner, who owned a retail store at the time. I came up with the concept and the name and then we ran with it. I was at University doing English and Philosophy and decided this was a better opportunity. I thought I was wasting time and could be really learning something, and I always knew I wanted to work for myself.

When you try to force something too much it can show, and it felt like there was time and space for something fun.

Where do you get your style inspiration from?

Magazines, Instagram, blogs and hanging out with my mum and my sister who are so stylish. Being a twin, you criticize eachother all the time, so I always have my sister to ask. I also have a really good sense of instinct – I don’t need too many people’s opinions, I just trust my gut.

I also love Miranda Kerr - she dresses so well, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. I love the classic but effortless jeans, beautiful coat, and boots look.

What does your typical day look like?

I wake up and look at Victoria's Secret Angel Candice Swanepoel on Instagram, then decide if I’m going to go to the gym at 7AM or not - if I stare at her for long enough then I usually decide it’s worth it. I do that three to four times a week – both the staring at her, and the going to the gym in the morning. I do a class or weights, strengthening and conditioning, then I go to the office - it's a lot of meetings, press, branding and selling/wholesale. In the evening I’ll go out for dinner or cook with my boyfriend or just hang out and watch a marathon of reality TV.

Lily's Fenwick Picks

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By Alison Millington