Visit to Guangzhou

I’ve finally found the time to update the blog following the renovation of our site. I was fortunate enough to visit our manufacturer in China recently and work through the garments we plan to release over the remainder of this year and early 2016.

Since I haven’t been to the Middle Kingdom before, I thought it a good idea to at least learn some of the lingo before I went. So after 8 weeks of tutoring and several hundred dollars lighter in the back pocket, I was able to fluently say thanks, thank you, hello, where is the bathroom, I am Australian and a phrase that loosely translated into ‘I am just a poor wage earner’.

Since I have a detail oriented personality bordering on anal retentive, I also arranged to have an interpreter (Jenny) on standby as well. The good news is, Jenny was sensational in terms of translation, the bad news is she confirmed my Mandarin was pretty close to useless. Oh well, we live and learn.

China is an incredible place to visit and I was surprised just how western it appeared within areas we stayed. Plenty of luxury cars on the road with Porsche Cayenne being one of the most popular! Cabs were another matter and they seem to be the same around the world. A trip through peak hour traffic was a heart stopping sphincter workout from start to finish, with other road users passing within inches of our Hyundai!

I also had the opportunity to learn about the various shopping districts within the city. Each district is made up of stores that pretty much just sell the same type of product. So the watch district sells every kind of watch, the picture framing district is a line of stores selling different frames and parts. While I managed to see the Jade, shoe, pet, musical instrument and technology markets, I was of course, most interested in the underwear market.

And it is incredible! A lane way of bras, undies, things and stockings and very little else. Unfortunately everything is made for Chinese sizing so pretty much useless for the average Australian or American sized woman. This is replicated for all the clothes markets that I found. I had hoped to pick up a few business shirts while in China since that’s where most are made. Unfortunately I’m a Medium in Australia and not even an XXXL shirt could come close to fitting me in any of the stores!

The time spent with our manufacturer was priceless however, and despite the language barrier, we spent a full day together planning styles and fabrics based on our earlier drawings. The great thing about being in the factory was having samples completed within minutes of completing each pattern. It was nice to meet with the staff and get to know the business which is still quite small but growing rapidly.

In total we have seven new styles to come with up to four new garments per style. This year will see bra and brief sets with the addition of either a cami, teddy and even a skirt!

Rachel will be our first release and she is due towards the end of June.

China Visit

Trans Women Lingerie

So I’m perusing the web and stumble across the blog post at the Lingerie Addict?and felt the need to respond. ?My reply wasn’t meant to offend anyone and if it did, well I apologise.

The transcript of my response is below.

“Strangely enough, and though I’m loathe to repeat myself, we never set out to challenge anyone or anything at any time. HommeMystere began simply because I couldn’t find lingerie that I liked and that would fit comfortably enough that it could be worn for more than ten minutes without becoming unbearable.
Despite the assertion that ‘men who crossdress get all this beautiful lingerie to choose from’, the reality is simply not true. Sure there’s plenty of beautiful lingerie about but very little of it will actually fit a guy!
The reality is the market for men’s lingerie is small, even on a global scale. All our garments are manufactured to the highest quality / best price matrix that I think is reasonable based on the anticipated demand for each new line.
I can only imagine how tiny the trans women market must be for lingerie. I suspect it would not be remotely viable as a business based on the required economies of scale to establish and grow a new business.
As the owner of HommeMystere, I have never pretended to do anything other than create lingerie that fits men. Nothing more and nothing less. The reason we target our lingerie towards men is because that is the market I understand. I am my own best customer because I have been doing this for 30 years before starting the business. It would be remiss of me to advertise towards the transgender community when I have no knowledge of that market.
As for the criticism of Chrysalis, I think it reflects a deep lack of understanding about business ? on the part of the customers. I have never been in touch with the owners of Chrysalis but I feel they have been treated quite harshly by the customer group they are trying to serve. Rather than criticise the Label, perhaps some support and constructive advice would help all achieve their goals. A viable business and nice lingerie!
I certainly take a conciliatory approach with our own customers because they are like family to me. We share the love of lingerie and while I get to make the final decision, if I have a question on anything from style to color to name, I know I can ask several thousand customers and receive a considered response.
The trans community needs to speak up a little louder, start something for themselves or support businesses like Chrysalis that are trying to break new ground.
As for the whole rude ignorant salesperson at the lingerie store, we’ve all encountered that kind of thing. There are plenty of store owners that are more than happy to address whatever your requirements. You just have to keep looking until you find the right one.
I am in this business because I absolutely love lingerie. Everything from the design phase to the samples, photographs to conversing with the guys. I do it because I love it and each new sale is a vindication that the first few years of struggle and criticism from the naysayers was worth it. To Chrysalis, Herroom?and any others in a niche market having a go, I say good on you and I hope you have every success.”

What’s in a name?

So we have a new set arriving in the next few days and we need a name. ?Following on from our recent plan to have our customers help us out, we sent out an SOS newsletter for suggestions.

The new set is white with a floral pattern and is made from a gorgeous figure hugging microfibre.

Customers are naming our new figure hugging panty
Customers are naming our new figure hugging panty

We have also designed our first ‘pullover’ style bra since there is plenty of stretch in the fabric. ?It feels beautiful and we’re confident our current and new clients will love it!

Our new floral set looks great and feels sensational!
Our new floral set looks great and feels sensational!

We have been inundated with names so far and have yet to make a decision. ?Some of the suggestions include (in no particular order)

  • Lana Rose
  • Sweet Romance
  • Debutante
  • Flower Princess
  • Tender Touch
  • Skylark
  • Rosie Reds
  • Flower Power
  • Camille (suggested several times)*
  • Lola*
  • Summer
  • Rose Thorn
  • Antoinette
  • Louise
  • Viola
  • Floral Love
  • Scarlet
  • Poppy
  • LaFleur
  • Calico
  • Marie Christine
  • Charlotte
  • Rosanna
  • Sonrisa
  • Juliette or Julie*
  • Penelope
  • Spring Fling
  • Joies Floral Dream Collection
  • Roxy or Roxanne
  • Sophia*
  • Abigail
  • Genevieve*
  • Flowers & Lace
  • Blossom
  • Amberosia
  • Floral Passion
  • Alice
  • Elise*
  • La Rouge Fleurette
  • Flora
  • Lily
  • Laila
  • Cherry Blossom
  • Lety
  • Flower Boy
  • Rebecca

Those marked with an asterix are the front runners at this stage. ?Using names for the lingerie is fun, simple and easy to remember – unless of course you know someone with that name and you don’t like them. ?That might create an issue when you want to wear that style…

We will make our decision in the next 24 hours or so…..

 

(24 hours later)

The Winner is………….Elise! ?Thanks to Daniel in Texas, your freebie set is in transit.

 

I love Lucy!

I used to hate the idea of coming up with a name for each new piece of lingerie. ?It was more of a chore than fun, particularly when there are so many options. ?So our recent decision to have our newsletter subscribers come up with a name has been a great idea.

Annabelle?was the first winner for one of our customers from the United States and now we have a new winner from New Zealand. ?Keith has suggested ‘Lucy’ for our open set and says in his email it’s ‘a highly bewitching name’ and ticks all the boxes for him. ?Keith will have a set sent to him as soon as production is complete!

Lucy leaves nothing to the imagination!
Lucy leaves nothing to the imagination!

The Lucy thong is completely open at the front. ?There’s no tucking your package away. At all. ?Ever. ?Lucy is designed to be a fun, sexy garment for play.

Same goes for the bra. ?It’s peek-a-boo design is made for fun and show.

Have some fun.  Be daring with Lucy!
Have some fun. Be daring with Lucy!

The Lucy set is an exhibitionist’s dream and we can’t wait to have it available from mid September!

Now to come up with a name for our next set…

 

Guy’s in Lingerie Stores – Ten Commandments

  1. Thou shall psych oneself up prior to walking into the store by carefully considering a plan of attack. ?This means not lingering for a period of time that is likely to draw suspicious glances from staff.
  2. Though shall have a cover story in place that suggests thou is purchasing for wife/girlfriend/mistress as a surprise present.
  3. Though shall pretend to be far less knowledgeable about sizing and fabrics to the staff to ensure thou appears as a stereotypical dumb male buying lingerie.
  4. Thou shall tell staff the wife/girlfriend/mistress is a size ‘X’ and under no circumstances say ‘she’s about my size’. ?This clearly gives the staff member reason to believe thou is buying for oneself.
  5. Thou shall only purchase underwear with a wide gusset. ?Bare minimum of 4 inches or 10cm. ?This will avoid splitting oneself in two, having one testicle in confinement and one on the loose or raising your voice by 6 octaves.
  6. Thou shall keep well clear of thongs and G Strings as they generally only have 1.2 square inches of fabric in the front. ?Refer point 5.
  7. Though shall stick with stretch fabrics only, despite being hypnotically drawn towards bright shiny satins and polyesters. ?Snap out of it. ?We both know they are not going to work.
  8. Thou shall not indulge in fantasies of the store assistants ‘helping you’ with your lingerie in the change room. ?Make the purchase and escape!
  9. Thou shall take advantage of Valentine’s and Christmas periods to stock up on lingerie in vast amounts when it is less suspicious you are buying for oneself.
  10. Every few years you will feel you must purge all your lingerie from your house/shed/work hiding place because ‘enough is enough’! ?Then you will go out and do it all again.

 

Happy Birthday to Us!

Hard to believe it’s been five years since the beginning of HommeMystere. ?Many people say they would love to start their own business in something they are truly interested in but most won’t. ?How many times in the past have you gathered with friends and one of you has said ‘that would be a great invention’ or ‘we should start a business doing that’!

I’m guessing quite a few. ?Taking the leap from idea to actually doing something is a little more challenging. ?As we discovered here at HommeMystere. ?What began as ‘we should make a few pairs of lingerie style undies’ has resulted in something bigger than we ever thought would happen.

So for our fifth birthday, we have been searching for a few pics of old favourites.

Our first production run.
Taboo White – Our first bulk production

The Taboo was our first bulk production. ?Though the volume was tiny compared to what we do now! ?It was made locally in Australia with one way stretch satin and came in a thong, scrunchy, brazilian cut and boyshort.

Taboo Boyshort back led to quite a few emails!
Taboo Boyshort back led to quite a few emails!

The little hole in the back of the Taboo Boyshort meant we received many emails with some asking if it was ‘for a tail’. ?Not sure about that…

Scrunchy Back was a popular style
Scrunchy Back was a popular style

The Scrunchy style back was also popular and started a trend where we had our visitors and customers vetting our designs prior to production.

This was a great style
The Passion High Cut Brief

Australian made Passion Brief and bra (bra not shown) was popular too. ?It had a sheer back and lined pouch with broad lace sides. ?Super comfortable and bargain priced at the time.

Whisper underwire bra was made for a very short time
Whisper underwire bra was made for a very short time

The Whisper underwire bra was beautifully made by a local seamstress using the best materials. ?Even though it was loved by our customers, the cost to produce it meant it was out of reach for many of our customers. There really wasn’t any point manufacturing lingerie for guys that no one could reasonable afford so we began looking overseas for suppliers.

That’s when we started with the China Doll and Rose. ?These styles have been replenished twice due to their popularity.

China Doll set was the first we produced overseas
China Doll set was the first we produced overseas

 

Rose was the second overseas produced style
Rose was the second overseas produced style

Since then we have progressed to even more styles and plan to introduce more new garments over the next 12 months. ?We’d even love to do some sleepwear though early trials of our super slippery nightshirt weren’t popular. ?Not sure why.

Our trial version of the nightshirt wasn't as popular as hoped!
Our trial version of the nightshirt wasn’t as popular as hoped!

Even though the designer lurrrrrves this nightshirt with matching brief below-

Silky brief!
Silky brief!

We may try some more sleepwear soon! ?In the meantime, our Retro Gold set should be available by June 20 2014. ?I hope everyone loves it!

Retro Gold is our Very High Cut brief and matching bra.
Retro Gold is our Very High Cut brief and matching bra.

Releasing a new lingerie style

One of the fun things about owning a lingerie label is creating something new and using new fabrics. ?You never know what might be popular, what will look good and what will feel great until after you’ve been through the design process.

It’s taken us a while to get the Vixen Lace bra and panty set to the market and it’s during the creative process we have learned a few lessons. ?Firstly, and most importantly – lace catches! ?Not the most comfortable thought when purchasing something to cover your package.

We didn’t want to compromise the deep red look of the lace by inserting an obvious lining in the front of the panty. ?We eventually settled on using a nice mesh liner that has been dyed the exact same colour as the lace. ?Comfortable without compromising the look.

The time taken to ensure the lingerie we make not only looks good, but feels great and gives the wearer a great feeling is the most important part of the design. ?Positive responses from clients is the greatest reward.

What lingerie does the designer have in his draw?

One question I get asked quite often is ‘which is your favourite’?

I’m sure everyone opens their undie draw each day, checks to see what’s available, then gravitates towards a ‘favorite’ pair of undies, panties or bra. ?Because there’s something about a favourite pair that reflects the mood you might be in that day.

If you’re off to work and know you have a big day ahead of you, you might just want something comfortable that fits well and you know isn’t going to give you any trouble.

On the other hand, if you’re feeling a bit toey in the morning, feeling relaxed and a bit sexy, you might go for something colorful that has a slightly different cut around the bum or perhaps a thong.

Having a ‘date night’ with your partner or heading out in the hope you might get lucky, then something that gets you in the mood and keeps you there might be called for.

Either way, we all have a few ‘best and fairest’ in the underwear draw and I’m no different.

So my high circulation underwear generally consists of the following-

PinStripe – I love the brief in these so much I actually have 3 pairs in circulation. ?They double as swimwear as well so are pretty handy in the tropics of Australia when in and out of the pool! ?The cut is slightly larger than the Rose so it’s not overly brief and they are underwear you can put on and forget. ?They are the ‘workhorse’ in the underwear draw.

Rose – These are one of our earliest releases and has been replenished twice. ?The panties I have are the original sample which are now over two years old! ?Brief, lightweight and thin, they are always near the top of the list.

Sheer – The Sheer has a look that is actually pretty mainstream with the only hint that it’s anything different being the small hint of pink lace. ?I like these as they are a fairly normal pattern and the sheer fabric means there is plenty of air circulating around the package. ?Good, honest fun undies.

Candy – I love this style. ?The pattern, along with the fabric color and the lace sides makes these stand out every time I look in the draw. ?If you want to surprise your man with some comfy undies that will bring a smile to the dial every time he puts them on, these are the ones!

Frill Panty – I’m not sure why, but this one isn’t as popular as the thong yet I personally believe it’s the most comfortable panty we have made. Ever! ?Without a doubt, this is my favorite as they have a bit of a frill, yet are super comfortable. ?It might just be a personal preference for the full bum pattern, but they are, in my own opinion, the best.

What a Year!

It’s been a big year for us at HommeMystere. ?We’ve certainly put some of the naysayers to rest as our men’s lingerie range goes from strength to strength! ?Some of the highlights have been-

  • Two appearances at the International Lingerie Show in Las Vegas with our latest runway appearance in September
  • A huge amount of worldwide publicity following the April Lingerie Show.
  • New stockists in Japan, Singapore, Sweden, France and the United States
  • New garments including the Dorothy panty and thong, Candy bra and panty, Satin bra and panty, Scrunchy bra and panty plus all our sold out short run garments!
  • Our YouTube channel at HommeMystere1 has almost reached one million views!
  • We established Twitter and Pinterest accounts to keep everyone up to date!
  • And we have some great new releases planned for 2014..

Of course none of this would be possible without our loyal clients that continue to support us and our US and UK agents that store and ship our garments to ensure fast delivery at a reasonable price.

We’ve also been fortunate enough to deal with many of our clients via email and phone to assist in everything from sizing to shipping to advising when new garments will become available.

With 2013 exceeding our expectations, we can’t wait fro 2014 to come around! ?More panties, bras, lingerie for men!

Back to Reality

Well we made it back to Australia following another fun exhibition at the International Lingerie Show. ?We had a few guys in our panties on the runway for the fashion show and we have requested the video to post on our YouTube channel. ?Hopefully that won’t take too long to be prepared.

We missed out on the StoreErotica award but we were pleased to at least have received the nomination – well, actually that’s not entirely true. ?We would have preferred to win!

If you don’t follow us on Twitter?and missed our tweet,?check out Matt dressed in our PinStripe Boyshorts and Vest. ?Matt is with Christy at the Show. ?The PinStripe proved very popular at the show once again.

We’re now waiting on our satin bra and panty set to be completed and should have those available in the next few weeks. ?Keep an eye on our store or blog for updates.

We also stumbled upon an article written some time ago here. ?Take a look as it’s well written and is a good guide for wives and girlfriends that are looking for a bit of reassurance.

Sign up to our Newsletter for a great introductory offer and to keep up to date on what’s happening’at HommeMystere. ?Or get in contact if you would like more information on lingerie for men!