Padma Lakshmi x Bare Necessities Collection

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Throughout the years, we’ve seen Padma Lakshmi dominate the food industry from her host gigs at a wide range of culinary TV shows like “Top Chef” and “Taste of the Nation” to her various cookbooks. She also landed her first SI Swimsuit cover in 2023 at the age of 52, and it nearly broke the internet. Now, she’s adding designer to her long list of accomplishments by creating a collection of lingerie, swimwear, and loungewear with Bare Necessities.

Lakshmi often shops at Bare Necessities so working with them was a no-brainer. She loves that they carry a wide variety of brands, noting that you can get an Adidas sports bra and a frilly lingerie set all in one place. “[The Bare Necessities team] told me that over 95% of their consumer base is female, and I liked that,” she tells PS. “It means women are buying for themselves, and that’s what I want. I wanted to speak directly to women, and I want the collection to be something women reach for consistently and that they love because it’s useful to them. They just feel good in it, and every time they wear it, they feel comfortable. They feel at home wherever they are and really good in their own bodies.”

When designing the collection, Lakshmi paid special attention to the color palette. A color she features throughout the line is bold magenta, a shade that reminds her of her heritage. “Magenta is probably my favorite color. You see pops of hot pink, but you don’t see those blue-magenta hues, the color that’s very prevalent in Indian raw silk. It’s almost called the double shade (referencing Kanjeevaram silk),” she says. Along with core neutrals like black and beige, she also incorporates baby blue. “Baby blue is also a color that’s really flattering and goes well with the magenta, but also is something wearable for everybody.”

Functionality was also top of mind. “Every item has this peekaboo element at the base of the bra. You need this because you need that support when you have bigger boobs. And that’s something I had to learn, too. I was like, ‘Why are these bras so matronly?’ Now I know, so we tried to find creative solutions to that,” she says.

With this collection and partnership, Lakshmi aims to empower women at every stage of their lives. She has a graceful approach to aging, one she learned while cooking with her grandmother. “When she taught me how to make sambar, or a lentil stew, she would hold my hand back and she would say, ‘Don’t put that in yet.’ Every ingredient in that stew has an appropriate time it should go into the pot, and if you put it too early, it’s going to lose its flavor, and you’re not going to be able to enjoy the pleasure of what that cilantro or spice can bring. She said, ‘You have to know when is the right time for certain things’, and I think that’s true of life,” says Lakshmi.

No matter your age, Lakshmi stresses that self love is key. “I always say, give yourself grace, prioritize, and be kind to yourself like you would to a friend you love. We are often more supportive to our girlfriends or our colleagues than we are to ourselves. I’m asking you to talk to yourself like someone you love.”

Ahead, discover Lakshmi’s favorite pieces from her Bare Necessities collection.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.