Lingerie shopping is always a feat for women of all shapes and sizes, but being a woman in the transgender community comes with its own set of personal necessities and frustration on a number of levels—until now.
Chrysalis Lingerie, is designed for transgender women, by transgender women and according to its founders, is the first lingerie line of its kind.
Developed to “resolve issues of the Transgender experience” with bras that are “made to hold custom full-cup inserts” and panties “that effectively tuck, hold, and smooth out for the perfect seamless look” with a power-mesh panel, Chrysalis provides function with aesthetic. There is also talk of shapewear, teddies, and swimwear joining the line as well.
With transgender women becoming an increasing demographic, it only makes sense for new businesses to cater to their needs. An ever crucial niche with an estimated 700,000 transgender people in the US, according to a 2011 UCLA study, there currently are few products tailored to transgendered women.
The lovechild of Cy, an interior designer and fashion stylist, and Simone Tobias, creative director of a menswear brand, Chrysalis Lingerie has come to provide support in more ways than one.
“Shaping a male body into a female is not as simple as it may sound,” Dina Isis (alter ego), who has been performing in drag all over the Bay Area for the past several years, told 429Magazine.
“In addition to using pounds of make up to contour a face, there’s also hip pads, breast inserts, multiple layers of nylons and often a few pairs of spanks to hold bits and pieces where they need to be. All of this makes in the concept of performing in my skivies a scary thought. Heaven forbid I come untucked, or my control tops roll over! After seeing this line I can say I would proudly strut my stuff in these, free of the concerns that would otherwise flood my mind.”
The name Chrysalis, comes from the cocoon stage in a butterfly’s life cycle. It is “a metaphor of transformation” and the “perfect symbol” of what the company is trying to achieve. Such is presented in their models who are all transgender, and absolutely stunning, with messages that resonate. Created to “help change the dehumanizing stereotypes and biases [transgendered women]are subjected to as a group and community,” Chrysalis stands as a movement for a shift in the definition of beauty and sexuality, and is fitting for women of all kinds, she said.
Another consumer audience that Chrysalis speaks to is breast cancer survivors. Surprisingly enough, while talking to Isis, she divulged that her mother is a two-time breast cancer survivor and has had a double mastectomy. “She can’t afford reconstructive surgery and bras have at best been awkward for her since then,” Isis said.
“I am going to send her information about this line and hope that she gets a renewed confidence with them.”
Regardless of body type, Chrysalis provides options for all that are function-based … and pretty, making lingerie shopping not only easier, but fun.