The history of bras can be traced back centuries, but when Victoria’s Secret first opened its doors, the entire landscape of women’s wear was irrevocably changed. This titan of lingerie and intimate apparel for women was founded by Roy Raymond in 1977. What we fail to remember is that the company’s purpose was not designed with women who would wear these garments in mind, but for a male market. It was created to make men more comfortable shopping for their partners or spouses. The popularity of their bras and products combined with the increasingly sexualization of women’s intimate wear became ubiquitous in the US, and this male-owned company continues to be one of the biggest retailers on the market today.
In 2018, I decided to change that. The history of bras is tied to the social history of women and their corresponding, and fluctuating, status in society and the evolution of women’s fashion as well as changing views of women’s bodies. Throughout history, women have used bras and various garments and devices to cover, restrain, reveal, and modify their appearance. Today with the advent of the fast fashion industry, women’s fashion - and body types - seem to go in and out of style faster than they ever have. These trends are targeted towards women who still feel the burden of conforming to societal standards of the female appearance. But the tide is changing.
From social media laws to other legal regulations throughout the world, women's bodies are scrutinized and censored while men have historically enjoyed the luxury of wearing what they want – free from criticism and harassment. Expressing yourself authentically is important and needed in today’s society. That’s what makes Free the Nipple a movement that matters and remains important years after its beginning. Contrary to popular belief, however, it’s not necessarily about burning bras or throwing them away altogether. It’s about the freedom of choice and the freedom of female expression. At the heart of this movement is the persistence for equality.
Since 2014, the Free the Nipple movement has taken the world by storm. At its core, the message is simple: empowerment, equality, and freedom for all human beings, but specifically for women,– whose bodies are sexualized and objectified for simply existing. Inspired by the breakout film with the same name, this global campaign revolutionized the beauty and fashion standards for women everywhere.
Each year, Free the Nipple Day takes place on March 26th. It’s an annual celebration that reminds women everywhere to take back ownership and agency of their bodies and to remember why this movement is so vital to equality. This year more than ever, I’m committed to harnessing the same power that Free the Nipple emboldened women with, by continuing to design bras for every body with all shapes, types, and color in mind.
In 2021 - and in the wake of the Free the Nipple movement - bras should no longer be a necessity or an accessory to over-sexualization. Bras should be about choice, comfort, and versatility. This is the equality and freedom that Circle Circle Dot Dot stands for. What we choose to wear and how we choose to present ourselves is a tool of empowerment that’s been weaponized and withheld from women for far too long. Equality of choice, braless or not, is the catalyst that will continue to change women’s value in society throughout time.