Let’s explore soft sensuality. What we wear can be the beginning of an erotic letter to your body to awaken the senses, to your lover to spark arousal. Sensuality is when you know your body and understand it's your own, to explore your temple; when you become one with your essence. Sensuality is when you no longer participate in the oddness of guilt and body shaming, and the little girl in you blooms to appreciate the complexities of your sacredness. Sensuality is when you discover that you can use your orgasms to create and manifest, to heal and to break through cellular energy blockages. Alternatively, to even flow into meditation. Sensuality is when your body becomes your playground. Now let’s explore the sensuality of Sabrina Cassis and the beauty of her creation Alice Kass, thank you goddess for creating such an exquisite collection of sensual lingerie where the focus is to allow women to tap into their sacred sexuality and giving them freedom to love their bodies by creating a collection that caters to self-love.
•Who is Sabrina Cassis aka Alice Kass?
I am an entrepreneur, a creative, a self-love advocate, a writer, a lingerie curator and designer. Sabrina and Alice are one and the same, but technically Sabrina Cassis is the founder of Alice Kass, a multi-brand online lingerie retailer whose mission is to inspire women to connect to their inner goddess through self-love and lingerie.
•Moreover, at this moment, how do you spend your days?
I spend them working from home with my sister on all things Alice Kass, so lots of Instagramming about lingerie, writing and sharing self-love articles for my weekly Bed Talks on Sunday nights (soon to be a podcast!), doing photoshoots, collaborating with other like minded boss babes on different projects and hosting events. Our next project is a pop up at SXM festival on the island of St-Martin where we’ll be launching our new line of Alice Kass swim and festival wear. I also run a lot, started pole dancing recently and I’m always doing some sort of online workshop because I love growth and self-development.
•Can you tell us about your upbringing?
Sure. I grew up in Montreal, the middle child in a family of three kids. My mom is 100% Quebecoise and my dad is Greek but born in Egypt so a pretty diverse background. I grew up speaking French with my mother and English with my father and dualities like this (of which there are many in Montreal) have had such a big impact on my identity. My rising sign is Gemini, so I feel like dualities are just a huge part of who I am in general!! Otherwise I was always a quiet, introverted, nerdy kid, preferring to spend time alone reading books instead of socializing. I’ve definitely come out of my shell since launching this business! I was very awkward and shy and don’t think anyone who knew me growing up would have ever expected me to end up in lingerie.
•How did you get your start as a lingerie designer?
I actually only started designing lingerie this year, but I started as a lingerie curator and buyer in 2014. In terms of education, I got two university degrees, one in business and one in fashion. After doing an exchange at fashion school in Paris, I became a buyer at SSENSE, which is the largest online luxury retailer in Canada. I learnt a lot there but the luxury designer fashion world wasn’t for me. I quit, worked on a business plan, got a grant and launched Alice Kass the following year.
I always say that lingerie chose me! I had never really been into it as I was a bit of a tomboy and kind of intimidated by this hyper feminine world. But as soon as I discovered lingerie made by women for women, badass styles that were still comfortable, I realized that I could wear lingerie in my own way. I didn’t have to be like those women in Victoria’s Secret ads, it didn’t have to be for special occasions or for a man, I could feel sexy wearing lingerie paired with combat boots, no makeup and messy hair. I remember the first time I tried on this kind of lingerie and saw myself in the mirror, I was lit up by my femininity! I never experienced that before. It really was transformative and I was hooked!! I wanted all women to feel that way.
•What inspired you to name your brand AliceKass?
Well I just created this character in my mind, a badass modern empowered woman that wore lingerie in this high/low way. Unapologetic about who she was, real and vulnerable but confident and rebellious. Sexually empowered and smart and cool. She embodied everything I aspired to be!! I never intended on becoming her but in the last year I became the face of my company and just fully embraced her. It actually helped me connect not only to my audience in a more meaningful way but to myself, my sensuality, my authenticity ironically. I felt free to be myself and express myself fully on Instagram. My community received it so well which really encouraged me to continue and share more. Alice Kass helped heal some of my wounds around my femininity through self-love and self-expression and I get to impart what I’ve learnt to other women and help them on their own journey. It’s really magical.
•Where do you draw inspiration for your designs?
I’m inspired by dualities and finding balance in extremes. Our collection coming out in spring/summer is made of bamboo but it’s elevated everyday wear. So super sexy styles in the softest most comfortable eco-friendly fabric. You can be smart and sexy. You can be comfy and still look cool. I don’t believe in sacrificing one thing for the other.
•What do you think is the biggest misconception women have regarding purchasing designer/luxury lingerie?
That is has to be for a special occasion. Everyday is special. You are special and you deserve to feel beautiful and sensual and connected every single moment in this sacred body of yours. There’s something about wearing a beautiful set, even if no one else sees it, that gives a woman a little boost of confidence. It’s symbolic of showing yourself that you’re worth it regardless of whether someone else gets to enjoy it. Be your own muse!!!
•Did you see something missing in the lingerie market? Why did you decide to start designing lingerie?
I definitely saw a gap in the industry when I started the shop 4 years ago! Padding and pushups were still dominating the market and women’s natural bodies were not being celebrated. It’s so amazing to see the body positivity and self-love movements now. I decided to curate a shop that featured lingerie that was super stylish, affordable, sexy, comfy, feminine but strong from smaller designers. I got such an overwhelmingly positive response, all the women around me just said FINALLY, THANK YOU haha so definitely felt like I was filling a hole, especially here in Canada.
•How does your personality come through in your collection?
Even when it’s not my own designs, the way that I curate is very specific. High quality styles that balance the delicate and the femme with the tough and edgy. All the styles exude a powerful sensuality. Provocative but without crossing the line into vulgar.
•Any tips for women who may not know what to look for when lingerie shopping?
Look for something of quality that speaks to you. That’s it! I don’t believe in rules, I believe in trusting your intuition. Don’t be afraid to try new things and take baby steps outside your comfort zone but if at the end of the day your gut says no, then it’s no. Either you’ll work your way to the more out there styles as your obsession grows (because it will!) or you just stick to what you know you like and suits your body. Everyone is different, be kind to yourself and wear what lights you up not what someone else wants to see you in. Confidence is the sexiest thing you can wear so YOU have to feel good in it!!
•What does sexual empowerment mean to you? Moreover, how do you believe lingerie can empower women to find their sensuality?
Sexual empowerment means freedom to express yourself fully without fear or shame. Sensuality is connection to our senses, the celebration of the female form, getting in touch with your body. From a young age we are taught to hide, to be ashamed of our bodies and sexuality, to disconnect from our femininity to be taken seriously and to be safe. We are encouraged to be more masculine in the workplace in order to be successful in business. So lingerie, even when it isn’t safe for us to show our sensuality, allows us to be in touch with it from the second we put it on in the morning, even if no one else sees it. We know it’s there. The delicate intricate lace, the subtle sheerness of the mesh, the strategically placed straps all create an erotic and sensual charge. When you get catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, it’s a little reminder of your power. Lingerie boosts your confidence and turns you on, before anyone else. A woman lit up by her own beauty. You see yourself differently, as a goddess, in control, sexual, powerful.
•What led you to embrace your sensuality and why is doing so important?
Lingerie and Alice Kass did! I’ve been on a journey of self-discovery which I chronicle on my blog (the self-love project) and it made me realize how disconnected I was from my body and pleasure. I had so much shame and guilt around my femininity. I’m still a work in progress but just being aware and taking steps like lingerie selfies and using my voice has helped so much. It’s important because it’s an essential ingredient for living a full and fulfilling life. Without our sensuality we are blocked. We get stuck in our heads. We can’t connect to ourselves and others and we keep playing out negative patterns and transfer those onto others around us. We can’t fulfill our purpose and mission if we’re repressed and in a constant state of anxiety and analysis!!
•Sex, self-pleasure, deep intimacy… are topics that don’t seem to be as readily or openly accepted by society yet. Why is this?
People are scared. Toxic masculinity is still rampant and what we are (almost) all brought up on. Emotions or anything associated to the feminine are not nurtured or celebrated, especially in the world of business. Women healers connected to the earth and nature and their sexuality were burnt at the stake because they were so powerful and today women are shamed for the same reasons. I think things are changing though and the feminine is rising! There are so many women (and men!) speaking out and running businesses differently or creating art on their own terms so it really is an exciting time. Hopefully we can find a collective balance soon and embrace both the masculine and feminine wholeheartedly.
• What does self-love mean to you?
Self-love means being kind and compassionate to yourself. It’s being your own parent, your own coach, your own lover, your own muse. Soothing yourself in tough times and failure and patting yourself on the back for all your little wins and big ones too. It’s setting boundaries and asking for help. It’s embracing the darkness as much as the light, being fully honest and open with yourself and loving yourself unconditionally through the ups and downs.
•When you are caught up in your head or just really busy/distracted in life, how do you get back to earth (and into your body)?
Sexy lingerie selfies!! Slipping into lingerie, taking the time to connect to my body, to look at myself, take photos, appreciate my femininity really takes me out of my head and connects me to my body and to the moment. I forget all my worries it’s crazy how calming it is for me. I also do this practice where I massage my head and say ‘yes yes yes’ out loud, giving myself permission to receive and express pleasure, something I think women aren’t encouraged to do in our society.
•Do you have a favorite ritual?
Every Sunday I get together with three amazing women, we have a cacao ceremony, talk about what we learnt the previous week and what we’d like to release, pick a goddess card to guide us and help us set intentions for the upcoming week, and meditate together. Community and sisterhood is so important for a woman, it literally fills your heart with light and love. I look forward to this goddess ritual every single week and won’t pass it up for anything! It uplifts me, makes me feel seen and heard, inspires me and sets the tone for my week so I can start off Monday feeling calm, supported and understood.
• Can you share some tips for embracing sensuality and being sexually empowered?
Well it all starts with self-love and self-acceptance. Being ok with not being ‘perfect’. Once you love and accept yourself you can connect to your body and allow yourself to feel pleasure. Getting to know your body and what makes you feel good is key. When you have that intimacy with yourself, your confidence and magnetism increases and you can more easily connect with another. But I don’t believe sexual empowerment even requires a partner. I haven’t felt more empowered than when I really took my pleasure into my own hands and set boundaries around the type of sex and men I wanted in my life. Often that means going months on end without having sexual partners but so much time to spend romancing myself. Being sexually empowered is about expressing yourself however feels right for you!!