Co-founder and creative director of OHEN, Wellingtonian Anja Bucher, moved to Auckland to study fashion, guided by her mother, a fashionista herself.
"My mum has been into it my whole life. She taught me to sew, and I used to make all my own clothes in high school, which led to me studying fashion at uni," said Bucher. "The first thing I ever sewed was a doll with my mum for brownies."
The design and product development for OHEN, which launched earlier this month, initially began in 2021. The idea came about when co-founder Lu Blade-Bittle was unable to find functional yet beautiful underwear after her third pregnancy.
It was Blade-Bittle who reached out to Bucher with the opportunity to create something that was not only technically considered but embraced lace and delivered an elevated design aesthetic.
OHEN is based on its three main values: refined fit, simplicity and sustainability. The team works with technical experts to ensure support, comfort, lift, and coverage without compromising their contemporary aesthetic, making mindful choices when considering fabrics and other manufacturing processes.
The evergreen capsule is designed to fit a diverse range of bodies, offering sizes from 10B—18G and S–2XL. The brand aims to work with more regenerative and recycled materials.
"Our goal is to innovate our custom materials and hardware with a much more eco/sustainable approach."
With its leading POS being the online store, OHEN will open a Fit Studio & Showroom at Freemans Bay by the end of the year.
"Both online and brick and mortar play an important role in our customers' experience, which is why our goal is to offer in-person Fit Studios for our customers to enjoy a proper fitting and a physical try-on experience."
At present, the digital Fit Studio on the website has bra calculators, videos and fit information to help customers understand what good fit and comfort looks like.
Bucher currently enjoys DIY even more since she bought a new house.
"It's more of a forced hobby, but I enjoy the end results."
She is constantly inspired by the people she surrounds herself with, mainly her friends and family and keeps an eye on what is going on with trends while staying true to her core vision and aesthetic.