In 2012, Angel Macauley started Femme Fatale Intimates — an online-only store that features both swimwear and lingerie — and promoted body positivity by carrying more than just the “typical sizes” several boutiques tended to carry. By 2017, Macauley opened her first brick-and-mortar store in Arvada, and due to her consistent growth and involvement in Denver’s fashion industry, she has recently moved to the heart of downtown Denver on Broadway in a store almost two times the size of her original location. With a vision to provide intimates and swimwear for women of all shapes and sizes, Femme Fatale Intimates encourages real women to be proud of their own perfectly imperfect bikini bodies, while also, “providing a positive buying experience with the highest quality products.”
303 Magazine: Tell us a bit about your background. How did you get into fashion and the industry?
Angel Macauley: As a computer science major, I just didn’t feel like that was my career. I started Femme Fatale Intimates in 2012 as an online-only store selling lingerie and swimwear. I just felt like I was always able to style and help style women (and men) to feel confident in their own skin. It took me some time to actually figure out my business model before I started to see that it would actually self sustain me. This has always been my passion, and to make my own brand/business out of it, and to be able to bring this to my city, really made my dreams come true.
303: For those who have never been in, describe Femme Fatale Intimates and its style.
AM: Femme Fatale Intimates carries both swimwear and lingerie, and our lingerie is the biggest seller. Fitting sizes in lingerie and swim go from small to 4X. We carry many different styles, colors and plus sizes. We source brand merchandise from a variety of distributors from across the nation and internationally. From garters to teddys, bralettes, panties, men’s intimates, and an assortment of hosiery and bodystockings. Unlike some seasonal stores, we carry swimwear all year-round, offering the newest, trendy styles from the Los Angeles fashion district to Miami swimwear. The store features a private label called Vamp Bikinis with custom sizing that are made in the USA to ensure the perfect suit.
303: How did you know that creating a physical store location was the next best move for you and your business? What motivated you to do this?
AM: The online store was really reaching the nation, although being a Denver native, I knew what type of fashion Denver was lacking. Then in my mind, bringing my style to my city was just a better business model to approach. There aren’t very many lingerie stores in Denver that offer the services that we do at Femme Fatale. Personal styling is huge for us to have the opportunity to offer — and offer the guidance to get the perfect fit in lingerie. Reasonable prices for quality lingerie and swimwear is key, and I just found my niche for Denver. So far, it has been an amazing journey. The most rewarding is to see my customers happy with the results.
303: Why intimates?
AM: I feel like I’ve had an eye for sexy. There’s something about a naked body that I love to add my sense of styling to. I can communicate with my customers to help them feel comfortable enough to open up the intimacy of their lives.
303: What do lingerie and intimate clothing mean to you?
AM: Lingerie equals intimacy, intimacy equals passion, passion equals love, love equals life. And some people are in need of them all, and if I can help in those aspects it makes me happy and feels like I am offering a spectacular service.
303: Tell us about the process of finding clothing and styles you want to carry in-store.
AM: Everything in my store I am absolutely obsessed with. If I am not obsessed with the piece, I don’t sell it. The options in my store I would most definitely wear and/or would love to see on someone else.
303: What does a day in the life look like for you as a business owner in the fashion world?
AM: If you want to meet me, come see me at the shop, because I feel like I am at my shop all the time, which is what I want and also should be doing in the beginning stages of my business. The more and more people I style — leading my amazing team to do the same —has really shown me the strength of guidance with personal styling. I love to see the results and the finishing touches that make the whole piece come together.
303: Anything you can share with us about the future of Femme Fatale Intimates or your work in Denver’s fashion scene?
AM: The feeling of being a business owner and feeling and seeing the growth is so fulfilling. I know I am growing each day. I listen to what my customers are calling for or need, and I love to hear what more I can do to satisfy my clientele. I plan to continue to showcase for Denver Fashion Week, plan to be involved with my customer base, and just make this store fun and comfortable. We do work with local boudoir photographers to offer those services to all customers. Working with models and photographers in town is always on my radar.
Femme Fatale Intimates is location 26 N. Broadway, Denver.
All photography by Danielle Webster.