Activ Duty: Local designers launch lingerie collection for older women

By Madison Rutherford

Each year, the Phoenix Fashion Week team traverses the country in search of the best budding designers to be part of a fashion design “boot camp” directed by industry experts. An eclectic mix of couture, contemporary, lifestyle and accessory lines are selected every year to bolster their brand and boost their business savvy.

This year, Scottsdale-based sisters and Activ Intimates co-owners CJ Hersch and Laurie McMordie were chosen as Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designers.

Activ Intimates is the only lingerie line featured at Phoenix Fashion Week. Ever.

Hersch and McMordie previewed their Spring 2019 collection, Erotic Energy, at Phoenix Fashion Week on October 18. They also debuted their “Behind the Brand” video commercial on the runway at Talking Stick Resort.

“Being selected as a Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer is very exciting, especially as the first lingerie brand,” McMordie says. “We will debut our Spring ’19 Erotic Energy Lingerie Collection as we heat things up and bring the bedroom to the runway.”

Phoenix Fashion Week (, touted as the leading fashion industry event in the Southwest, aims to bridge the gap between national and international designers, retailers and media and gain global exposure for the Phoenix fashion industry. Now in its 10th year, the event has gained speedy success in the business and is renowned for its innovation and community service endeavors.

Activ Intimates is a trailblazing company that perfectly echoes the Phoenix Fashion Week ethos. The brand is body-positive, fashion-forward and eco-friendly, developing inventive, versatile designs while striving to reduce their environmental footprint.

“We manufacture in Los Angeles. Knowing our factories and the talented people who make our clothes is important to us,” Hersch says. “We can literally hop in our car and be in Los Angeles in six hours, so we can easily visit our manufacturing partners.”

They are also concerned about fabric waste in the fashion industry and its impact on the environment, so they are launching a program called “Reactivate,” which will use leftover production scraps to construct one-of-a-kind accessories like garters and cuffs.

Activ’s average customer is 50 years old, and each piece is designed to flaunt the female figure and spark a sense of confidence, regardless of age, size or shape. Their current collection features loungewear, peignoirs, bralettes, boy shirts, camis and bodysuits, but the brand’s signature lingerie style is the playlette, a sophisticated, sexy one-piece designed to “evoke a playful mood, piquing imagination.”

“The design process starts with thinking about the woman we’re designing for, from beginning to end,” McMordie says. “She isn’t confident in the lingerie she wore in her 20s and 30s, so we pay attention to what she cares about now. We design every style to inspire confidence and celebrate her naturally beautiful and sexy body,”

On Thursday, September 27, Activ Intimates teamed up with Belle Lacet Lingerie in Chandler for a pre-runway treasure hunt contest and trunk show. The boutique is the first brick-and-mortar business to carry the lingerie line.

For more information on Activ Intimates, visit