With spring around the corner, I have been thinking a lot about lingerie. South African women have a “National Cleavage Day”, but what about the lingerie? In 2002, Wonderbra, in cahoots with Cosmopolitan magazine, 5fm, and SABC radio stations, launched the initiative. Many have criticized that it is a covert marketing ploy by Wonderbra at the expense of women’s bodies. Others think the initiative is flirty and sweet. Personally, I feel no ways towards it, but could we have a National Lingerie Day as well?
Intimate wear was not what we know it to be today. Back in the 1700’s the materials to make intimate wear were bulky and thick. Mary Phelps Crosby was the first person to have a patent for the bra as we know it in modern times. Since her time, intimate wear has become a multi-billion dollar market.
Lingerie can make you feel like the most alluring and powerful person in the room. In street wear or a pantsuit, knowing that you’re wearing a matching bra and pantie set can make anyone feel powerful. With spring around the corner we are bound to see more people wearing their inner wear as outer wear.
May I propose, that as the bold and the beautiful in South Africa, we make a National Lingerie Day. Let’s schedule it for some time this September; I mean, the weather allows after all! While we mull over the dates, take a look at a few womxn owned brands to welcome into your wardrobe this season…
Tondani Ragwala started her brand mid-2016. Lingerie can make any woman feel good, she believes. “I feel like sexy lingerie gives a woman a sense of power,” she relates. While she was still in high school, she couldn’t afford the lace creations by CottonOn. When she started studying fashion design, the very first item she made with her sewing machine was a bralette.
Taahirah Abrahams started conceptualizing Lazy Daisy while she was on a long break from the University of Cape Town. On top of her work as an intern at a media house, Taahirah spends her time sourcing lace and designing bralettes for all shapes and tastes. Having struggled with finding the right fit herself, Lazy Daisy is definitely “Itty Bitty Titty Committee” friendly.
For years plus sized women have had to consider US size 10+ women to be their representation. Where would we begin with the lingerie and swimwear niches? For Noluvo Mabece, any body is a summer body, and this sentiment extends to her provision of sizes for all body types. More so, seeing plus sized women in lingerie lends itself to the ideal that they, too, have every right to feeling attractive and powerful.
Gugu Nkabinde made waves earlier this year with the launch of her line, “Gugu Intimates“. In its first year, the brand launched five shades with Gugu hoping to expand over time. When we think about lingerie, it’s easy to only consider the bralettes and teddies, but the importance underwire and back support need not be forgotten. With flesh toned colors and seamless pantie sets, the only people that have to know what’s there are you and whomever else is in the room *insert a flirty wink here*.
Images sourced from each brand’s social profiles. Holding image features an illustration by @regards_coupables