At the age of 45, Sofía Vergara has a confidence that most women only dream about. Thankfully, she's spreading the gospel of looking and feeling your best by teaming up with Seven Bar Foundation to launch EBY (which stands for "Empowered By You"), a new subscription-based underwear company that sends customers three pairs of new panties every three months. The collection consists of five styles—a thong, cheeky, brief, G-string, and bikini—all made from a lightweight, moisture-wicking fabric, with a special flocking technology on the waistband that prevents slippage. To drive the brand name home, 10 percent of net sales go toward the nonprofit, which helps empower women by microfinancing their businesses. Here, more from Vergara about her philanthropic venture (available to shop now at join-eby.com), the new season of Modern Family (which also starts today!), and her son turning heads on the Emmys red carpet.
What was the impetus behind launching an underwear brand?
I love bringing together my artistic side and my business side. For a long time, I wanted a different project. When I first came across this underwear, I noticed immediately that it was different from any other underwear. It sticks to your skin so it doesn't roll or give you a muffin top or a bad shape. It comes in every color, every size, from XS to 4X. And 10 percent of the net proceeds go to a woman somewhere in the world.
Do you have a favorite style?
I might be too old for it, but I'm still used to the G-string.
Have you always been a thong fan?
I knew from the very beginning I wanted a thong. [Laughs] When I was growing up, you'd either get something colorful in a horrible style or something sexy that you can't sit on for the whole day at work. Turns out you really can have it all: You don't have to be comfortable and look disheveled. You can be comfortable and look cute.
What style advice have you passed on to your Modern Family co-stars?
I always tell them that, no matter what's going on at the time in fashion, it's about finding what works for you and what looks good on you. It doesn't make sense to try something that a six-foot-tall model is wearing if you're four-foot-nine. Wear what feels comfortable and makes you look good, and you're going to look great. You find that through experience. You start learning, you start trying, and then you become pretty boring. I always wear the same mermaid-style dress on red carpets because I feel like that's what looks good on me.
What can we expect from the new season?
The first episode will be a family trip to Lake Tahoe. We had a great time shooting that one. The views are spectacular over there—the shots are going to be amazing.
After eight years, do they finally understand your thick Colombian accent?
Thankfully, we're used to each other talking at this point. Even when they don't understand me, they understand me, because they know what I mean.
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The internet was collectively crushing on your son, Manolo, at the Emmys. Were you surprised by the reaction?
I'm super proud and super happy. I always tell him, when he's in a tuxedo, he looks like an old movie star from the '40s. He looks very distinguished. I love when he gets to go with me to awards and look elegant.
This interview has been edited and condensed.