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Naked Undies created for 'purely selfish reasons'

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - From left, actress Lily James, Rachel Zimmerman, Molley Shaheen and actress Laura Carmichael wear Naked Undies tops.Rachel Zimmerman, an alumna of Lake Oswego High School, has launched with business partner Molly Shaheen a new loungewear line called Naked Undies. This new line of clothing is eco-friendly and manufactured in the U.S.

“We have to admit we started this company for purely selfish reasons,” said Shaheen. “Naked Undies is about quintessential pieces that embrace femininity. They’re chic, versatile, timeless intimates that go from the boudoir to pooch strolling, and from a night out to a weekend away.”

You could say that Zimmerman has been preparing for this step in her career since she was 4 years old. The only girl of 11 grandchildren, Zimmerman accompanied her grandmother on shopping trips to private, customer service-based stores such as the Club at Sacks Fifth Avenue, where clients were greeted with a rolling rack of their favorite clothing lines, their favorite foods and beverages.

“I thought all shopping was like that,” Zimmerman said. “My grandmother taught me everything she knew (about fashion). We created a very special bond.”

Following graduation from LOHS, Zimmerman attended the University of San Diego, where she met Shaheen, daughter of Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire, who would become the first woman to be elected both a governor and a senator. The two became fast friends.

Zimmerman was highly motivated during her college years and landed a job with Noveau Model and Talent Agency, one of San Diego’s leading agencies. She graduated with a degree in communications and a minor in business. She launched her own image-consulting firm working with models, celebrities and executives, where, as she describes it, “everything was needed yesterday.”

“I started my company but it was really important to me to come back and help care for my grandmother,” she said. Her grandmother was ill with cancer and Zimmerman wanted to spend as much time with her as possible. The duo resumed their shopping excursions whenever her grandmother was up to it. While back in Lake Oswego she began buying for boutiques and then clients starting asking her to be the stylist for their families because she had to access to hairdressers, tailors and stylists.

“I was going between Beverly Hills and Lake Oswego. At one time I had four full-time assistants,” she said.

Zimmerman had remarkable success finding exactly what clients wanted, except when it came to loungewear; she was constantly repurposing clothing into loungewear. She found herself buying loungewear and intimates for clients and having the pieces tailored to remove strings or open up waistlines.

Shaheen was drawn to anything “delicious and comfy” from flea markets to couture. Her style is always to only wear clothes that are soft to the touch. With lounge and intimate options being sparse in the market, she recognized an opportunity and contacted Zimmerman to go into the venture with her.

“She told me, ‘You’re the only person whose work ethic I trust,’” said Zimmerman. “We’ve created a line that is feminine and comfortable to hang around in.”

The line, which includes T-shirts, blouses, pants and robes, is made of soft Modal and Tencel fabrics. The clothing is sold locally at EC Page in Lake Oswego, Posh Boutique in Bridgeport and Marios in Portland. The apparel is made in the United States and the packaging created in Lake Oswego. Both women live in Beverly Hills, though Zimmerman spends a great deal of time in Lake Oswego still.

“Lake Oswego is so much of who I am,” she said.

Zimmerman said she is a huge fan of the hit TV show, “Downton Abbey,” and likewise “Downtown Abbey” actresses Lily James, who plays Lady Rose, and Laura Carmichel, who plays Lady Edith Crawley, are big fans of Naked Undies. The actresses assist with promotional shots for the loungewear line.

To view the line, visit a retail outlet or go to nakedundies.com.



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