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Padma Lakshmi modeling a bodysuit

Introducing Padma x Bare Necessities


by Brooke Glassberg

May 30, 2024

How did Padma Lakshmi first come into your life?

Could be from her Emmy-nominated shows, Taste the Nation or Top Chef. Maybe it’s from one of the best sellers she’s written (memoir! cookbook! children’s book!), the magazine covers she’s appeared on (hello, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue) or her activism for the ACLU, United Nations, Endometriosis Foundation of America and others.

Whether she’s speaking out for social change or examining American culture through what we eat, Padma is known for delivering with confidence, wit, warmth and charm. She demonstrates on repeat how brilliance and humor and unabashed sex appeal can coexist quite effortlessly.

That’s what makes her the perfect fit to launch our first-ever collaboration on a lingerie line.

Informed by her longtime love of lingerie, Padma X Bare Necessities infuses into a wardrobe the rich textures, intricate prints and mix of influences she’s gathered across the globe. From edgy yet supportive bras and swimsuits to the dreamiest loungewear and coolest coverups, each unforgettable piece knits together her insights from a life spent seeking.

As Padma so gorgeously proves, confidence comes from feeling at home where you are.

Check out what Padma had to say about creating her collection.

Q: Why take this leap now?

PL: I’ve always wanted to do a lingerie line. I’ve spent a lot of my modeling life wearing different types of lingerie, and it’s hard to find something that’s comfortable but still pretty. I thought it would be a good opportunity to do this with Bare Necessities because you serve a variety of customers of all body types. I knew you would understand what I was trying to do.

Q: Who is your collection for?

PL: I hope that everybody enjoys the lingerie, but I designed it for women who might be a little more well-endowed. As I have aged, I’ve found that my breasts have gotten bigger, and if you have a bigger bust, often you don’t get enough coverage. So, I wanted something that would look pretty, but give the support that a woman with a larger bust needs, without looking matronly. We also have things like a beautiful bikini that look great on women with smaller busts.

Q: What do you love about lingerie? What’s always left you wanting?

PL: I think putting on a nice piece of lingerie can be a mood-lifter. Even if you’re in jeans and a T-shirt, it can make you feel dressed up on the inside. Wearing lingerie is a way of caring for yourself that’s very private, and that’s also what I love about it. It’s just for you, and those you wish to share it with, of course.

What has always left me wanting is that bras in larger cup sizes aren’t always attractive. I hope this collection makes you not only look good but feel good.

In magenta lace, the everyday—a racerback bra and a cheeky panty becomes exciting.

“Putting on a nice piece of lingerie can be a mood-lifter.”
—Padma Lakshmi

Q: How has your body changed over time, and what revelations did that inspire?

PL: As I’ve aged, I’ve needed more support; my breasts have gotten bigger, and my hips have gotten curvier. And I prize comfort more than I used to. When I was young, I didn’t mind wearing uncomfortable things to look good, but now I’m not willing to do that as easily.

Q: How do you hope your collection makes those who wear it feel?

PL: I hope that my selection is versatile and makes women feel not only like they have something pretty and special on, but that it’s functional. Our racerback bra is great if you don’t want to see bra straps, or if you want to wear it under a T-shirt for a seamless look. Our everyday stretch thong is wonderful because it cinches your waist in but leaves room below to breathe.

Q: Why was it important to you to design not only bras and panties but a complete collection?

PL: I wanted to try my hand at a few different garments, and these items seemed like a good place to start. It’s a humble capsule offering of the things that I think every woman needs: a couple of bathing suits, a bodysuit, a corset, bras, some pants to lounge in, a coverup to throw on over said bra and a stretchy, long dress to hang out in that’s cozy but shapely.

Pretty, delicate sky blue lace makes for a heavenly matched bra and panty set.

One of Padma’s personal favorite pieces is this zip-up rashguard.

Q: What’s your favorite piece so far?

PL: One of my favorite pieces is the zip-up rashguard with the mesh panels. When you’re going to the beach, you have to put on sunblock, but it’s such a pain, especially if you’re a mom or you have a lot to do. This bathing suit is one-piece, with long sleeves for more coverage. It’s a very utilitarian suit that also looks sporty, sexy and chic in a Bond Girl way, but without being too revealing. If you wanted to be more modest, it would be a good thing to wear. I’d zip it up when I was on the beach and, that way, I wouldn’t get too much sun except on my legs—one less to worry about. Then, when I was coming out of the water and the sun, I’d lower the zipper and wear it with shorts or jeans. I also love the corset and the stretch dress. I live in those stretchy dresses!

Q: What was the most fun—and the most challenging—part of the design process?

PL: It was challenging to narrow down the collection. There were so many things I wanted to do, but we had to start with a small offering that has enough variety to see what people will like. I don’t pretend that my tastes are always mainstream, so it was important for me not only to design for myself but for other women, too.

It was fun to pick out the fabrics and see things go from the line drawings to actual samples. It was also fun to see everything on the fit models. All of us have different body types, so it was interesting to learn how things looked on each of us.

Q: What have you infused into the collection from your lingerie experience? From your global adventures? From your women’s health activism?

PL: I gravitate toward different types of lingerie. There are times when I want a smooth, plain T-shirt bra or a racerback as a functional option. Then I also want something a little sexier for nighttime that I can wear with a chiffon blouse, or under a black blazer or a double-breasted suit for an edgier look. There are also days where I just want something pretty and delicate, like our lace bra under a sweater with matching panties. Three styles, three different moods. I wanted to do a line that addressed them all while also being comfortable.

That’s what I’ve learned from experience: What’s in your drawer should be wearable, comfortable and special, regardless of the styling. When you’re traveling, you really want versatile and comfortable because you can’t pack everything. That’s what I learned: Design first for what you’d put in your suitcase. What would you choose if you could only bring a few pieces?

As far as my women’s health activism, I know that women’s bodies change and have different needs—just more reason to prioritize comfort.

Shop Padma X Bare Necessities now.

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