WE WANT ANOTHER REVOLUTION
By TINA WILSON
R-E-V-O-L-U-T-I-O-N-A-R-Y……say the word out loud. How does it make you feel? It gives me goosebumps because it describes people who are fearless, radical, avant-garde, inspirational and on the forefront of a movement to make things better for all of us, whether it be political or creative. I went to the Brooklyn Museum to see the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit, and happened upon another exhibit entitled “WE WANT A REVOLUTION”, about Black women artists in the 60’s and 70’s and it made me wonder if I’d ever been a part of a revolution or is my time yet to come.
Revolutionaries are often forgotten or never acknowledged for their contributions, but their impact is nonetheless felt. When we think of shapewear we think of Spanx, but few remember that it was Donna Karan that invented many of the attributes of controlling a woman’s body so tight as to conceal her unwanted flesh…….long before Spanx. I know because I was there, and to see Donna slip her body into a 10” tube and show you that she can still breath and move is to see passion, obsession and genius at work.
Calvin Klein, a contemporary and a friend of Donna Karan, revolutionized gender based underwear. There are many imitators but it is undisputed that Calvin and his men’s and women’s underwear was and still is…a revolution. You can debate all day long about whether his early ads with Brooke Shields and Mark Wahlberg or the infamous logo waistband was the genius behind the brand, but I can tell you I will never forget seeing those early photos pinned to his office wall, listening to him as he studied them and planned his empire.
Sometimes a revolution is an idea brought forth by a community of talent, such as the mission statement behind the success of Wacoal and many of its still standing bras designed years ago….
-To create the highest quality best fitting garment for the American consumer.
-To provide a level of customer service to assure that the consumer gets the correct style and size.
-To market and sell this merchandise at regular price every day.
Many of iconic bras by Wacoal were conceptualized by Alan Fisher and his staff of designers, some of the most talented people in our industry. The Awareness and Body by Wacoal Collections in particular have defied time and are still going strong….. an effective revolution never ends.
A revolution can be started by a retail phenomenon like Victoria’s Secret or a star that wears her underwear on stage like Madonna or creating an iconic thong from lace like Hanky Panky does so masterfully. LaPerla has revolutionized extravagant beauty, and if you doubt me just stop by their store and view the 10K bra made of gold threads. Fashion Forms with Anne Deal at the helm has revolutionized how we hold up and shape our breasts without a bra. And let us not forget Commando.
Time will bear witness to whether online stars like Adore Me or ‘period panty’ innovators like THINX and Skin with their clean aesthetic will be remembered as revolutionary, I sincerely hope they do. I believe we are in urgent need of another revolution…..are you ready to participate or to start your own?