How the Liang Sisters Turned Siren Basics From Dorm Room Dream Into It-Girl Lingerie Fave

V chats with Brenda and Clara Liang as they celebrate the launch of their second collection.

Every great business is born out of necessity. For up-and-coming lingerie company, Siren Basics, it all started with a simple Google search.

In 2019, Brenda Liang was a freshman college student at NYU, acclimating to bustling city life, navigating her new campus and curating a new wardrobe, drawer by drawer. When it came time to shop for new underwear, Brenda scoured the internet but found herself at a dead end. “I was just in need of new underwear and after searching high and low through a variety of brands and companies of different sizes, I was surprised at how little affordable and fun underwear there was out there.”

Unsuccessful in her search for the dream undie, Brenda did not settle for the second-best but took matters into her own hands in true entrepreneurial fashion. Recognizing a hole in the market for women’s underwear, she set out to make a cute-yet-still-comfy line that keeps its finger on the pulse of fashion and took younger sister, Clara Liang, on board with her. Thus, Siren Basics was born.

It may sound like a simple origin story but such is never the case in fashion. Underwear is a tricky business to get into with consumers demanding more relatability and less exclusivity over recent years. We’ve witnessed the rise and fall of lingerie giants like Victoria’s Secret for decreasing quality yet increasing prices and outdated marketing campaigns that refused to showcase body diversity. The fall of the VS brand, a company who once held a monopoly on the lingerie world, was the ultimate smoke signal that 90s-era marketing is neither effective nor relatable to Gen Z consumers.

Taking into account the constantly fluctuating market trends, Brenda outlined a business model that she herself could get behind; one that pivoted away from the overused “sexy” trope to an aesthetic more on par with “bad ass bitch”. A curated cool girl Insta feed highlights beauties of all shapes and sizes serving it-girl energy and IDGAF attitude. Their unique designs all lie in the details; thoughtfully stitched ruffled edges and soft mesh fabric arrive in a delicate silk bag creating a presentation just as luxurious as its feel on your body. 

Just launched this January, Siren Basics is returning with a fresh new line in time for your #hotgirlsummer. After the success of their first release, the sister-owned lingerie co. now drops its second collection, “Abundance” with a vibrant new campaign to boot. We caught up with the ever-busy Liang sisters to hear more about their latest line, young female entrepreneurship and what sets Siren Basics apart.

V MAGAZINE: Hey, Brenda and Clara! This week, you celebrate the launch of your second collection after just a few short months! Can you tell us the backstory of how Siren Basics got started? 

BRENDA: It started in my freshman dorm room[…] In hindsight, I was dead set on finding underwear that is now our “mesh ruffle” style and has become a signature of sorts. Empty-handed after my search for these ruffle-y undies in hopes that they would embody hygge (contentment in everyday objects and experiences), I dove headfirst and decided to make our own. It was all very spur of the moment — one day I turned to my roomie and was like “I’m starting an underwear company,” and the next day I was on a call with my family ordering our first samples. It’s really crazy to look back and see how much has changed. In the very beginning, I was just running around to my friends asking to draft up a logo or hop in a photoshoot, so it’s really birthed from community, friendship and the relationships I hold dear to my heart.

V: How does Siren Basics combine the philosophies of Yin Yang and Hygge?

CLARA: We choose to embrace concepts such as Yin Yang and Hygge, as they infuse our personal philosophies into Siren Basics. We recognize that as individuals and sisters we’re going to be constantly fluctuating and evolving. Rather than tying ourselves to a specific brand identity, we choose to embrace our ever-changing selves and our fluidity. As not only sisters who balance each other out but also as young entrepreneurs, we seek to maintain balance in our personal lives. In the Abundance collection, our underwear uses both vibrant and passive colors to represent the balance in Yin Yang. The underwear’s main colors symbolize Yang energy, which represents the strength and confidence everyone deserves to feel. To balance Yang energy, the stitching colors symbolize Yin energy, which represents softness and affection. Our treatment of our undies as not just underwear but a channel of individuality. Our attention to detail through our stitching shades and silk pouches for example, relates to the importance of Hygge, where we want to remind people that focusing on the little details in life can make someone’s day, just as the small details in our underwear can bring a sense of fun.

V: What issues did you recognize in the underwear industry that Siren Basics seeks to resolve?

C: A large issue I recognized was the lack of underwear that valued both comfort and style. In the underwear industry, embellishments replaced soft fabrics with itchy lace, sequins, and other harsh materials. Siren Basics seeks to resolve this through the use of maintaining comfortability in underwear, while still making the underwear exciting and expressive through our color choices and details. It also just felt so serious! Underwear is something we interact with daily, we aim to make it something exciting and indicative of our divine individualities. It’s For You.

V: How does your sister dynamic translate in the business? 

B: I wouldn’t want to work with anyone else! It’s been a true blessing and bonding experience to create a brand with our family. We’re like yin and yang ourselves, as we balance each other out quite well. Whenever one of us is freaking out because our site crashed or something like that, the other is always able to paint the bigger picture and emphasize the need to trust the process. Working as sisters also helps us enjoy the process in the present rather than push a goal-oriented mindset. Our sister dynamic also brings a lot of faith and hope. It’s been daunting starting Siren from scratch so knowing that we’re in it together makes the process feel much more comfortable and more full of optimism and excitement rather than stress and anxiety, which would be constant if it was without my sister.

V: What are some of the issues you’ve faced being young female entrepreneurs? 

B: I think I feel imposter syndrome at times which is something I am continuously working on.

V: How does the new Abundance collection differ from the previous one?

B: Our first collection was shot and planned years prior to the actual launch, and in between that time we experienced a pandemic that I’m still trying to process today. Given all the changes, we’ve just grown a lot as individuals and that definitely translates into Siren Basics. Our emphasis on notions such as Yin Yang and Hygge are also more prevalent in our Abundance Collection’s visual language. We understand that we’re constantly fluctuating, growing, evolving, changing, and we treat that as a pillar of us and our design processes. It’s like Brenda and Clara 2.0, post-pandemic.

Shop the Siren Basic’s latest “Abundance” collection online or fall in love with their feed on Instagram.

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