If you’re a fan of soft, feminine underpinnings with lots of pretty bows and flirty ruffles, move along, there’s nothing for you to see here. This is for fearless urban feministas only.
FYI by Dani Read, a buzzy new lingerie line fresh from the meaner streets of Brooklyn, is pure gangsta gear — aggressive, erotic and just scary enough to keep the homies out of your face.
Yes, that’s a pair of .45 automatics printed on FYI’s signature Brixton bra above (and on the backside of the matching briefs). And yes, the model is carrying brass knuckles.
If that doesn’t give you enough street cred, try FYI’s Maria thong with the zippers down the back and in the crotch.
Still not tough enough? Then accessorize with a pair of menacing spiked Baratta fingerless gloves (below) — just to let him know you’re not someone to be messed with.
FYI is unlike anything else you’ll see on the lingerie racks this year, and its founder is utterly unapologetic about the label’s shock factor.
“I wanted to push back against the lingerie industry’s portrayal of women as delicate flowers and perky pinups,” says Dani. “FYI is all about female empowerment, even if it’s almost intimidating.”
FYI debuted last winter at Williamsburg Fashion Week and reached out to the retail market last week at the Curve Expo lingerie trade show in Manhattan. Not surprisingly, the label’s rather sinister collection of black leather and rayon mesh separates was in stark contrast to almost everything else on display at the huge show.
And let’s be honest: FYI is not for everyone. Even though it positions itself as a “feminist” fashion product, FYI’s version of feminism will appeal primarily to the amped-up-and-angry riot grrl crowd. Bold tough girls with a flair for self-expression are going to LOVE this line.
(It’s worth pointing out that the gun motif used in FYI’s prints isn’t really meant to promote violence or be seen as a threat. It’s inspired by Brooklyn’s tattoo culture and, specifically, the gun tattoos that some of the hoods from Dani’s ‘hood get inked onto their pecs to show what they’re made of. Her gun print, she says, gives women the same intimidation factor, at least in the bedroom.)
Of course, FYI isn’t only about attitude. There are some appealing fetish-friendly designs in the collection and some serious craftsmanship too, which shouldn’t be surprising since Dani previously worked for both Marlies Dekkers and Kiki de Montparnasse — both favorites of the domme crowd.
FYI by Dani Read also has a slogan that is, to say the least, different than most lingerie labels. “Women are weapons,” it says. “Dress yourself as such.”
Which makes me wonder: if women are weapons, does that mean the bra has become … a holster?
The intriguing images below come from FYI’s first two photoshoots, Bodega Friday shot in a convenience store, and the more recent Brooklyn Gothic, which goes beyond the shock value to present the label’s collection in a subtler, but just as forboding, setting.
FYI is already available in half a dozen boutiques around New York and Philadelphia, but check their website as new stockists are added. There’s also an online sales channel being added to the FYI website soon.