In a time of growing awareness and understanding of transgenderism, the fashion industry has made strides to offer clothing with subtler, more fluid interpretations of gender. In March, the designer Faye Toogood partnered with the British retailer Selfridges to open dedicated spaces selling gender-neutral fashion in several of its department stores. To a less radical degree, retailers like UNIQLO and Opening Ceremony also count unisex clothing among their regular offerings.
But finding functional and attractive undergarments remains considerably difficult for transgender people, which is a gap that artist and lingerie store owner Peregrine Honig set out to fill with her new line of intimates, All Is Fair in Love and Wear. The gender-neutral underwear brand, which recently met its goal on Kickstarter, will offer binders, enhancers, and contour garments designed to be both effective and pleasing to the eye.
Honig had the idea for the line after a friend, who was in the process of transitioning from female to male, showed her his binder, a piece that compresses the chest area for females who are transitioning to males. “When I saw what my friend was wearing, it seemed low quality,” says Honig, who has owned her independent lingerie boutique, Birdies, for 13 years. “With the shop, it’s easy for me to do a little bit of research and find something that is higher quality–but there really wasn’t anything out there.”
To offer a line of stylish, comfortable binders and other modification garments, Honig joined forces with Miranda Treas, a lingerie designer for Birdie, and Miranda’s aunt, Laura Treas, a veteran designer of post-plastic surgery garments. Drawing from Laura’s experience in post-op garments, the intimates manipulate high-compression fabrics, but with a stylish silhouette. The brand’s first product, the Boy Friday binder, for instance, is made using square-shaped seams to help flatten the chest and the highest-quality Lycra for comfort.
The line will launch in December with four binders available in two colors, followed by tuckers (male-to-female underwear for a more feminine silhouette), packers (female-to-male underwear for a masculine silhouette) and waist cinches.
All Is Fair is not the first line of underwear designed specifically for transitioning people, but it does have the broadest range of offerings, which is something Honig views as important as the fashion industry continues to reflect gender fluidity. “Hopefully, we can get to a point where [garments] are accessible and reasonably priced,” she says. “I want us to get to a point where there’s a new dialogue. If we can make people feel more comfortable with who they are in private and in public, it will make the world a better place.”