When Cy Lauz, an interior designer and fashion stylist, was transitioning from a man to a woman in 2006, she was disappointed to discover that there was no lingerie brand that specifically catered to transgender women.
“I was really determined to either find something or make it,” she told The Daily Beast.
Four years later, filling a void in the apparel market, Lauz partnered with Simone Tobias, creative director for a menswear company (and also a transwoman), to launch Chrysalis, which claims to be the first lingerie line designed for and by transgender women.
The brand’s mission is twofold: It aims to provide a solution to transwomen and make them feel beautiful and sexy, as well as change negative preexisting views of the transgender community. According to Lauz, she and her peers are typically portrayed in an unfavorable way in the mainstream media, often being labeled as “uneducated prostitutes,” and she aims to add a different perspective of how the group is represented.
Chrysalis introduced its line in the summer of last year, but Lauz and Tobias plan to officially launch this spring, most likely in May, with a Basics Collection of bra and panty sets in five hues: black, nude, chocolate, burgundy and plum. The bra comes equipped with hidden pockets to hold full-cup silicone inserts, and the panty, cleverly named a T-string (a play on the G-string for transgender women), is made of power mesh elastic and specially developed technology that tucks in and lifts the “venis”—Lauz’s term for a penis on a woman—to create a seamless look. Both the bra and the panty come emblazoned with the brand’s logo and namesake: a chrysalis, which is the cocoon stage in the life cycle of a butterfly, and, according to Lauz, represents the loving homes transgenders should occupy in order to transform.
The Basics Collection consists of practical, streamlined undergarments for women to wear on a daily basis, but a Couture Collection is set to follow in the fall, featuring more elaborate designs like teddies and leggings, with “a lot of lace and floral motifs.”
“We basically associate ourselves as the La Perla or the Agent Provocateur for the transgender community,” Lauz said.
And although Chrysalis’s target audience is primarily male-to-female transgender women, Lauz says the products can be used for anyone who’s interested in wearing them, including women who’ve had mastectomies. The full lingerie line will be available for purchase on Chrysalis’s website.