British swimwear brand Swim By Alba is launching a new product ahead of International Transgender Day of Visibility this week to empower and inspire confidence in trans women.
The luxury brand, which offers chic and simple swimwear, joined forces with trans advocate and model Lili St. Jerry to create an undergarment trans women can wear under their swimwear to make it more accessible and comfortable.
Made from microfibre nylon blend, the Lili Gaff is double-lined to offer control and a smooth look. Priced at £35, it will be available to pre-order from Wednesday.
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Albana Janjeva, creative director and founder of Swim By Alba, told Metro, ‘When I created Swim By Alba, I was designing swimwear for all women to feel confident, empowered and sexy.
‘I met Lili St. Jerry at a Black Lives Matter march and we, of course, discussed fashion. Body positivity is at the heart of Swim By Alba, yet, we hadn’t considered the needs of trans women. It has taken time to perfect, but through our collaboration, we’ve created something special.’
It seems unbelievable that so few products like this exist in mainstream fashion, but Janjeva adds, ‘We want to inspire the fashion industry to consider trans women in the collective drive to be more inclusive.’
Lili St. Jerry also explained, ‘As trans women, we struggle to find ways to wear certain garments, having to resort to making our own makeshift items. The Lili Gaff was created to help trans women feel included when looking for designs they can feel sexy and confident in.
‘Lingerie and swimwear are just two fashion obstacles trans women have to navigate. We created the Lili Gaff which helps an individual feel at ease wearing any type of swimwear with no qualms. Producing the Lili Gaff will hopefully create an avenue of inclusion for trans women in the fashion industry, it’s a vital part of our wardrobes.’
The product hasn’t been rushed. Janjeva explains it took ‘lots of prototypes, fails, successes and tests’ to create the garment so it meets the requirements of many trans women.
‘It was important to be educated on both topics and to really understand a trans woman’s body,’ she says. ‘It was the first time we worked on a swimwear design project that was outside of our existing understanding.
‘As an independent brand, Swim By Alba is quite agile, but it was important to take our time and consider all sensitivities and needs of the entire trans community. ‘
The product is set to launch ahead of International Transgender Day of Visibility, which takes place this week on March 31. The annual day is dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of the discrimination they face, as well as celebrating their contribution to society.
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