SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. -
At New York Fashion Week -- it's all eyes on the clothes. But what's under them is just as important. Much of the lingerie on the runway comes from the Green Mountains.
After being fed up with pinching and pulling underwear, Kerry O'Brien and her husband Ed started their own version of going commando. The business, cheekily named Commando, started 11 years ago and is the original invisible underwear. "I wanted something more from my top drawer. I wanted underwear that didn't dig into me and hosiery that was comfortable," said O'Brien.
Commando started with bra inserts and then found its groove with raw-cut underwear made from micro-fiber blends that were comfortable to wear. "We're known for invisible underwear so we do that. It's no elastic or trim on underwear; it's all clean cut. There's nothing to dig into your body. That also means no panty lines which can ruin an outfit.
O'Brien is a fourth generation Vermonter. She made her way to New York City and worked at a top public relations firm, but the terror attacks on 9/11 changed everything. "After Sept. 11 I quit my job," said O'Brien.
Always known by her friends as an underwear guru, O'Brien decided to move back to Vermont to start Commando. What began in a three car garage, the company is now based in a 15,000 square foot facility in South Burlington and employs 50 people.
Along with several styles of underwear, the company also makes bras, weighted slips, reversible bathing suits and hosiery.
Reporter Gina Bullard: So why the high waist?
O'Brien: Because you want the pressure to be evenly distributed.
Bullard: So when you take them off you're not like ughhh.
Kerry O'Brien: Yes, there's no lines. It goes back to comfort.
The undergarments are worn by people around the world and sold at 1,200 stores across the country including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales and Bergdorf Goodman. "Underwear is an afterthought and that's not how it should be. Underwear can set the tone for your day," said O'Brien.
Made in Vermont undergarments that are better than nothing.
Commando underwear starts at around $20 a pair. For more information about Commando, click here.