In our bodies, everything is connected. Our sense of touch can change our mood. Our sense of sight affects our perception of flavor. Our sense of smell can transport us to a fond memory. Our sense of taste dictates what we choose to put in our bodies and how we feel.
Today we speak with Emilio and Christina, the founders of luxury lingerie brand and concept store, The Great Eros, about how we can learn to discover and love our own sensuality.
Splendid Spoon: Hi Emilio and Christina! Tell us about yourselves and your journey to creating The Great Eros.
The Great Eros: Hi! We both worked in fashion, retail, and film for over twelve years, and ran our own businesses. We had moved on from our projects and were working together consulting fashion and retail companies.
The Great Eros was conceived over a bottle of red wine at home. After the conception of the brand, we were biking through Williamsburg and noticed the empty shop. We thought it would be the perfect home for our store, where we’d share our modern concept of creating love and connection through our products and a warm, welcoming environment.
SS: What rules have you broken to escape the stereotypes of the lingerie industry?
TGE: Ha! All of them! Opening a shop and brand which sells latex, leather, luxury fragrance and fine jewelry alongside each other hasn’t ever been done in the way we do it! We offer an intimate experience to the woman who isn’t into boudoir, but is into being a woman.
Also, it’s definitely unusual for a straight, tall, hairy dude to work in a shop that mainly sells intimates for women. It was important to us to create a space that was inviting to men and women. The space and attitude of the store is very masculine in its materials, but feminine in its lines and shapes.
SS: How do you choose the materials for your products?
TGE: For us, the materials are so important that the product names are actually inspired by them. We think about all the different aspects of the sense of touch — the feel, breathability, wearability, and texture — as well as how it fits in with the palette of our line.
SS: What does sensuality mean to you?
TGE: I think lately we’ve been using it as a synonym to sexy, since sexy has garnered so many negative connotations. To us, sensuality is inspiration, enjoyment, and fulfillment in your intimate life.
SS: How do you embody your definition of sensuality in your work and lives?
TGE: The Great Eros is an extension of who we are: our interests in sensuality are visible in what we make and sell. We embody this personally by simply being ourselves. We have a passion for mindfulness, pleasure, communication, dates, and love making. We make sure we’re always physically working on ourselves so that we mentally feel better.
SS: How do you stay grounded while you live in NYC?
TGE: Rituals are so important to everyday life. We always create a calming ambiance at home: incense, candles, tea, and salt baths. Emilio meditates in the morning and I meditate before bed. We splurge on trips to the Aire Ancient Baths [A Tribeca spa inspired by the bathing rituals of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. — Ed], and also love chilling in front of the TV with good takeout!
SS: Your store’s atmosphere invites self-care and confidence. How do you create this vibe?
TGE: Thank you! It all starts with self-care, so we want to focus on that: you’ll never be able to give to another if you haven’t fully given yourself what you need. We want you to leave the shop feeling empowered.
We create a visually calm space through the light colors and textures, and an open floor plan. We keep the more sensual objects in a dimmer lit, more intimate, room, and our fitting rooms have tonal lighting that’s flattering instead of frightening.
We love to connect with our customers, hang out with them and tell the story behind every product. We also host monthly events at the shop as a way of building culture and community.
Our store is designed to be a multi-sensory experience. Obviously buying lingerie uses the sense of sight and touch, but we wanted to include all the senses. We sell chocolate for taste, fine fragrances for smell, and make playlists with our favorite DJs for sound.
SS: How can we use our senses to inspire love and connection?
TGE: Try to use all your senses every day to be present, open, and adventurous.