A transgender woman launched the first ever line of luxury lingerie, The GI Collection, designed specifically with trans women in mind.
Trans women who haven’t had ‘bottom’ surgery have very limited options when it comes to panties that conceal their genitals. With this in mind, 27-year-old Carmen Liu from London designed flattering pairs of panties that ‘tucks’ the genitals. This design isn’t boring either — much like the markings of traditional lingerie, Liu has designed these panties with pretty bows and lace trim.
In an interview with The London Economic, Liu opens up about the process of making these unique panties a reality.
Liu is not a fan of the old-school gaff, which many drag queens and trans women wear, describing it as the ‘love child of Borat’s mankini and a jock strap.’ For Liu, it’s important that all women have the experience of wearing sexy lingerie. So, her range comes in 16 different colors and six sizes, measured by the waist.
‘The gaff has done its job for the last few decades, but every woman deserves to wear lingerie,’ Liu explans. Sometimes with the gaff it feels so painful you have to keep changing your seating position just to take your mind off the pain. The range has a purpose because it’s tucking at the same time.
“We have put a lot of thought into designing the lingerie and I put a lot of care into it. It’s important we can give people what they want.’
In addition to the underwear, Liu will be adding matching bras and ‘tucking tape’ to her lineup. Unlike duct tape and other abrasive household items typically used to ‘tuck,’ Liu’s tape is safe for skin and less painful to peel off.
‘What a lot of trans women do is they use tape, a household tape or even Gaffa Tape,’ Liu told The London Economic. ‘Taking that off is very damaging to skin. They want it to be flat and look as feminine as possible and not be spotted as transgender. It can also be such a worry, you are worrying all day about having to pull this tape off, it’s not pleasant.’
‘The tape we have designed is safe to use on the skin. It allows trans women to be able to tuck comfortable and safely. You don’t want to be damaging down there, you just want it to be simple – as simple as putting on your eyelashes.’
When Liu tried on her first prototype, she cried tears of joy, as she never wore a pair of panties so comfortable.
‘The first time I tried it on I started crying,’ she recalls. ‘I was so comfortable and normally we do not feel comfortable. This journey has been the most rewarding thing I have done in my whole life. I have cried more in this past year then I have in my life.’
About Carmen Liu
Liu, a former ballet dancer, officially stopped wearing men’s clothes in December 2014 — what she describes as her ‘trans birthday.’ In January 2018, she began working on this underwear collection.
‘I had this dream of creating lingerie specifically for transgender women and I decided to get my head down and get on with it.’
‘It’s a simple thing of creating awareness sometimes – telling a stylist to address someone as they appear, as they dress.’
Learn more about Liu’s brand and shop these unique panties on The GI Collection website.
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Author: Rafaella Gunz