Social Lingerie to reopen after COVID-19-induced hiatus


Adriana Coffman, a freshman communication studies major at Kent State, has modeled three seasons of Social Lingerie’s product drops. Her quarantine selfie was selected to be featured by Social Lingerie for their season eight product drop the end of May, a few months before Social Lingerie went on hiatus.

Social Lingerie, a student startup in Kent, plans to reopen the beginning of October after a two-month shutdown due to a lack of sufficient funds.

“We tried to stay open as long as possible, but once COVID-19 hit, we weren’t generating any revenue whatsoever. It was horrific, so we shut down the website,” said Hana Baran, a junior fashion merchandising major at Kent State and the CEO of Social Lingerie. “But our team has been working hard all of this month to reopen in a couple of weeks.”

Left with hundreds of thrifted lingerie pieces that never sold over the months of quarantine, Baran and her team have been strategizing ways to reopen and jump-start their sales again. 

“We want to look out for people who don’t have a lot of money right now, so we are going to start a bidding system with all pieces starting out at a dollar. Every week you can bid on the items posted by bidding a dollar higher than the person above you in the comments section (of our Instagram),” Baran said. “Pieces could sell for $2 or they could sell for $30; we’ll leave it up to our customers.”

A month before the state-mandated quarantine, Social Lingerie was making the most money it ever had through events like its February Valentine’s Day Fashion Show which generated $600 that night alone, Baran said.

Capitalizing on that momentum, Baran and her team had events planned throughout the entire month of May and were buying out sections of thrifted lingerie from second-hand stores to prepare for big sales, Baran said. However, buying lingerie wasn’t a top priority for people when COVID-19 hit.

“We had an entire pageant planned and small events planned all around campus that had to be cancelled. … We had a really good momentum going and then we lost it,” Baran said.

Trying to stay open as long as possible, Social Lingerie launched season eight of their product, this time a social distancing campaign and contest.

Members of the Social Lingerie team hand-delivered bagged and sanitized pieces to models that volunteered around Ohio and let them take “quarantine selfies” featuring relics of the time like hand sanitizer, gloves or cleaning spray. From those they chose their favorites and collaborated with artists around the world to feature the selfies.

“The quarantine shoot was such a good idea, especially right now,” said Adriana Coffman, a freshman communication studies major at Kent State and a model of three Social Lingerie seasons. “What they did [with season eight] was really creative.”

But as much effort as Baran and her team put into season eight, it wasn’t worth the stress to stay open, Baran said.

“The challenge didn’t end the way we wanted it to. So, I took a step back and realized that my team wasn’t doing that well and everyone really needed a break. There was no reason to keep working that hard when no one was buying lingerie then anyway,” Baran said.

Baran is looking for “rays of hope” as a definite sign to reopen when she knows that customers will feel justified buying pieces of lingerie again. She thinks that the beginning of October will be a good time to start listing pieces and get Social Lingerie back on its feet.

“Social Lingerie is definitely social,” she said. “I’m excited to use every chance I can to live out this art, hopefully starting again in the next few weeks.”

Josie Thomas covers jobs and money. Contact her at [email protected].


Hi, I’m Lauren Sasala, a senior journalism student from Toledo. I’m also the editor in chief of The Kent Stater and KentWired this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important news about Kent State and the Kent community. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.