Even if you don’t recognize the name Yandy, you probably know some of the company’s hot items, such as “Native American Seductress,” “Gorgeous Pink Geisha,” and “Sexy Undecided Voter.” On Tuesday, the lingerie and costume purveyor debuted a swimwear line for New York Fashion Week that doesn’t exactly stray from its brand identity.
As one might expect, the one-pieces, bikinis, and monokinis were sexy, often showing more than your typical amount of butt cheek and side boob. Models walked to upbeat club music, sometimes in pairs, making it a lighthearted runway. The overarching theme, Jetset, was innocuous enough. So was one of the three clothing lines, Black and White. For the other two lines, however, Yandy stuck with what it does on Halloween: ignores any notion that cultural appropriation is taboo.
One line was Havana Nights, a nod to “rich Cuban lifestyle, presenting a vibrant spectrum of lush hues, intricate floral details and sultry silhouettes,” according to the press release. There were a couple ruffled peasant tops. Thankfully, no cigars, but if you go to Yandy.com, where the collection is already available, you can see the models wearing straw fedoras for good measure.
Then there was Shahs Life, “influenced by the glamorous Persian culture and reflected in the lively motifs, exotic animal prints and radiant gold accents.” Though they didn’t do a burkini or a belly-dancing costume for this one, there were some sheer bathing suit covers with “tribal” patterns (per the website), potentially offending more than one culture at once. However, these suits would probably not register as problematic if they had never been labeled this way.
“We wanted our debut of Yandy Swim to cut through the noise,” Yandy chief executive Thom Brodeur said in a press release. “We felt it was critical to break from the ‘tradition’ of how brands and designers show at NYFW and put our own unique stamp on the show, just as we did the collection.” Unique it is.