Creative Talk with Grace O'Brien from Modibodi
We sat down with Grace O'Brien, the Creative Lead for the brand Modibodi, an Australian company making beautiful, comfortable, scientifically supported underwear to protect women against sweat, light bladder leaks, period overflow and spotting.
Modibodi were one of the first companies to embrace the period pants; when did they first start making and marketing the brand?
Modibodi was started in 2011, at a time when reusable period underwear wasn’t really on the radar. The founder, Kristy Chong was experiencing bladder leaks following the birth of her second child, and dreamed up a product that could be used to replace disposable pads and tampons that would ultimately end up in landfill. It took two years for Kristy to get the product right before eventually launching in 2013. The Modibodi team at the time was very small, but in 2014, started marketing the product and educating customers on the Modibodi brand. The rest is history.
Modibodi products are revolutionary for woman and very welcomed, how do you feel about the brand and what it represents?
The Modibodi brand is synonymous with inclusivity and body diversity and strives to break stigmas around periods in everything we do. We’re also trying to build the brand we wish we had when we were younger. We’re passionate about casting models that represent a true cross-section of society, and we never retouch our talent. Over the years, we have received countless emails from parents thanking us for showing all kinds of bodies in our advertising. Those are the kinds of emails that make you proud to show up to work!
The brand has moved into new sectors, including swimwear and leak proof underwear in general – do you get excited when coming up with new ways to improve lives via the products?
Innovation is at the heart of the Modibodi brand, and we love coming up with solutions to improve people’s lives. We have highly engaged customers and love the reaction and feedback we get from our customers when we launch - or even announce - a new product.
Since launching, there has been a huge surge in competitor brands – how do you keep your products forefront?
Simple answer - by being better. We don’t skimp on fabrics, we invest in our technology and we listen to our customers. The challenge for us is to keep coming up with creative ways to educate new customers on period underwear. Believe it or not, there are still a lot of people who have never tried it!
What’s a recent project you have undertaken that you’re proud of?
Last year, before coming to Modibodi, I got the chance to work with UN Women on a campaign to teach young girls self defence on Tiktok. It was a purpose-based project that felt like so much more than just advertising. In that same vein, we’re also working on something exciting at Modibodi, but I can’t say much more. Watch this space.
Do you have a brand or market sector that you would love to do a collab with?
I’m a long time fan of the work they do over at Milkrun, so would love to one day collaborate on something weird and wonderful with their team.
Can you describe a most memorable moment in your career to date?
I’ve had a lot of great career moments, but travelling (pre-COVID of course!) was some of the hardest and most rewarding work I’ve done. I’ve shot in Hong Kong, LA and Japan and being able to learn from some of the best in the world, is something I definitely treasure from my time in agency land.
Where to from here?
It’s onwards and upwards for Modibodi. We’ve recently been acquired by Essity and I’m excited by what that will mean for us. We definitely aren’t that little start up company any more. I also think with climate change very much in the collective consciousness, more people are looking for ways they can help reduce their impact. In other words, the period underwear revolution is just getting started.