The Mansplained Bra - aka the Kewi Disaster

[edit 22.06.16
just to clarify: I am not, in any way, affiliated or sponsored by the Company Kewi Bra. Apparently there was some confusion on this topic so I wanted to make this extra clear. I wrote this post about my experience with this company and its reputation online to share what I've heard. ]

 

The peak of bad PR might have been reached

While already working on an article about this company inventing a new bra because I find to be it a bit shady, I found this link and was rendered speechless. And let me tell you, this is NOT something that happens often. The whole thing is made and planned and designed by a man, which is always a bit of a cautionary tale in brafitting for me - shouldn't there be SOME people that... like... actually have DD+ boobs... be in there too? where are they?

disclaimer: since this is going to be a long rant, prepare for gifs.

cpt-jack-sparrow-001.gif

But, it got worse.

This man, the CEO of kewi Olumide, a bra company that claims to reform bras and strapless bras via new technologies, might be just one of the major dudebros that ever walked the earth.

I'll talk about the other issues of the product later on in this article, but first my thoughts to this stunt:

Olumide, the male CEO of Kewi, wants to fundraise 1 Mill USD to get breast implants. So he can experience the bra. And test it. And make it better.

My reaction was like this:

really, WHO the hell thinks that's an acceptable idea??

TL;DR: Men deciding over women's needs instead of working with them.

If you want to make a bra for people with large breasts and you are not a member of this group, then why not talk to them? Ask them about their experiences, their needs their wishes? They LIVE with it every day. They know what it feels like.

But i mean, that would be soooo much harder apparently than doing this stunt.TALK TO WOMEN OMG . HEAR THEM TALK THINGS SAY THINGS . APPRECIATE THEIR THOUGHTS

I mean, yeah, that would be ridiculous, right?

In all honesty, this lacks all respect for women. (btw, what's up with calling women “females” on the website? Hm? We're not describing medical probates, you should really call us women. We're not animals, y'know.)

It's shameful and I really can't believe that anyone would have this idea let alone want to pull it off.

I don't even care whether it's a bad PR stunt that won't get realised or whether they really MEAN that.

By the way, with this he even proves again how little he knows about breasts in general. Because breasts with implants behave TOTALLY different than breasts without implants.
First, the fold that's so important to be able to wear the bra, cause you whop your breasts into a shelf, might not even be there because breasts with implants are usually much perkier than those without.
Two, the weight of implants and the weight of natural breasts is a whole different thing.

Three, it takes a LONG time until you are done with the whole augmentation and recovery – and they want to have their first bras ready in summer 2014. (not to mention that you can already BUY them aka give him 150 USD for a bra that isn't even shown ANYWHERE online or irl, there's not even a prototype available...)

And yeah, there's still a big stigma to getting a breast augmentation. Women in need of implants have to go through psychological assignments, are ridiculed and called vain... But hey, why not completely disregard that and do a stupid PR stunt!

Shady? Yes.

Talking about shady, why not talk about the original indiegogo campaign they launched? He wanted to launch 25000 USD. Remember, indiegogo funding works in a way you can keep the money even if you don't reach your goal.

Well, there are 6 backers à 100 USD. All anonymous, all without a comment. I don't know whether you have seen a lot of fundraising campaigns, but this does look shady. It wouldn't surprise me at all if these six anonymous backers were to be found within the brand itself. Just sayin'.

Oh, and have you noticed? Was there a single woman to be found anywhere? Hm, no. Oh, I forget – the really unprofessional official pictures of their “design concepts” feature one headless woman. The pictures look like they are made with a smartphone and in a livingroom of some sort. This is NOT how you build a trustful relationship with costumers.

Which also leads to the “design concepts” itself.

Well, I've got a whole handful of issues with this bra, the brand and... well, about pretty much anything.

  1. SCIENCE. Physics don't work that way.
  2. That's not how clothes work.
  3. That's not how product pictures are done.
  4. Selling a product before you can show a prototype?
  5. You know nothing John Snow

So, I'll further tell you why I think you should be VERY careful to give your money to this company.

1) Physics don't work that way - and boobs neither.

As taken from the pending patent for the kewi bra (thx to Agatka on twitter for pointing the patent out to me!):

"The straps are attached in such a way that, the breasts stay suspended up (suspension only about half an inch). There is a small, but intricate tool that is sewn into the side bands (under the armpits) of the strap bra to keep the weight of the breasts suspended up while exerting no pressure on the body at all. Thus the bra is a strapless bra which provides a full lift, support and a personalized fit. In addition to this, it is extremely thin and can be worn with any outfit appearing invisible. It does not require underwire or even back adjustments."

Ah right. I always wanted to use the word quackery - THIS is the time.

It appears he invented a totally secret floating device. Aka a magnetic levitation device, not sooo secret afaik. You even don't need to fix the band on your back! And wtf does a personalized fit mean? The breasts are still attatched to the body and even if they should be floating, there is gravitation on them and hence pressure and force on the band. They weigh more than implants, you know?

2) That's not how clothes work

On the website and when asking on their facebook they don't really explain stuff. It's always A NEW METHOD and NEW FABRIC - oh, and the fabric is apparently waterproof. Can you imagine wearing waterproof fabrics? Have you ever worn Latex clothing? Your skin can't breathe, the fabric can't absorb the sweat and the fabric will cling to your skin. mhhhhm.

Don't get me wrong, I love latex clothing. But I would never wear it as everyday underwear.

The linked to article btw calls the design “discreet”. DISCREET. LOOK AT THESE GIGANTIC FAUX LEATHER FOLDS. have they SEEN it?

 This is not a discreet bra you can wear underneath your clothes. Whether you like the look or not, that's just not how an everyday bra for underneath will look like for most people.

3) That's not how brafit works

I guess most of my readers know that, but here is a roundup of brafit basics.

4) That's not how product pictures are done.

The official Design Prototypes look like this:

Kewi Bra Prototypes
Kewi Bra Prototypes by Kewi Bra

Exactly. These are bras by other brands with some fabric scraps on them. There is no common factor in bra style (Plunge, Halfcup, Balconette?).

There are so many ways you can show your design ideas to your costumer: Illustrations, a well made prototype, even moodboards.

This makes me doubt their ability to actually create anything on their own.

5) Selling a bra without even showing a prototype

They refuse to share any insights in the actual development of the bra and only share "concept designs" where they show some style and design ideas - aka either put fabric straps on bought cups or make a prototype like the one in their newest fb album.

They had an album with pictures of this bra worn online, but they took some of them offline without further comment. It didn't fit at ALL.

Kewi Bra Prototype
Kewi Bra Prototype by Kewi Bra
Kewi Bra Concept
Kewi Bra Concept by Kewi Bra

Remember, discreet.

6) You know nothing, John Snow

Olumide has as stated on the kewi website experience in fashion and bra stuff. I did a bit of research... and that's just not true.

Ok. so, researching mode is ON.

The last company he worked for, "the boom boom empire", described in his CV as:
"President & Co-Founder. Boom Boom Empire, LLC

2009 - 2012
The Boom Boom Empire (BBE) is an international consulting group established in 2009. The group's purpose is community development by connecting skilled individuals in fields of Fine Art, Music, Design, Technology, Media, Film, & Retail with ideas, resources and other skilled individuals."

Seems to be in fact a group of young people trying to create a new entertainment group, organising parties, disco events, etc, in baltimore etc. doesn't exist anymore since 2012. has a whopping 190likes on their official fb, their webpage is not available anymore.

ok, next. 2006-2010:
"Apprentice. Folio Designs, Development & Investment Inc.

Folio Design Development and Investment Inc. is an architectural firm specializing in both design and development of all form structures including both commercial and residential real-estate. Our architectural services include architectural design, project management, urban design, zoning correspondence, sustainable design and interior design."

Sounds legit, and well isn't it funny, two of the company's directors are family of olumide or at least share the last name.

2004-2009 board member of a non proft africa festival
--- well, nothing big to research there.

ok, then let's have a look at his schools and college:
Towson University, Baltimore, Maryland: International Business
Anglo-americká vysoká škola - Praha University. Prague, Europe: International Relations & Global Leadership.
University Of Virgin Islands. St. Croix, V.I.: International Commerce & Management.
Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina. Florianopolis, Brasil: Portuguese Language & Literature.

These are all Private Colleges with not a very big reputation; Prague, St. Croix and Florianopolis are exchange programme schools.

To sum up, trained in: business, international relations, management. All the right classes etc to work in a firm like the Architecture company one might say.
But you see, his CV doesn't show any clue about HOW and WHERE he could have gotten any fashion design or knowledge about constructing bras.
Which maybe explains why he doesn't have any.

To sum it up, although I could go on for a LONG time because there are a lot of issues and I just can't spam my whole blog with sth like this: I'm not sure whether there are malicious intentions behind all this. I don't think so. I rather think this male doesn't WANT to be a scam, he just realised that his project was going downhill and he's now desperate to get funded. Whatever the cost.

Now, congrats, you got through the rant! What's your opinion on this whole thing?

xoxo denocte

Kommentare

GIFs FTW! ;)

Ich hatte einen Artikel dazu gestern in meinem FB-Feed von Refinery29 gesehen, das Ding gelesen, die Bilder gesehen und mir überlegt, ob das jetzt ein verfrühter Aprilscherz sein soll..wirklich äusserst eigenartig. Vielleicht will der Betreffende sich ja auch gerne nur per Crowdfunding den Traum von dicken Moppen erfüllen. :)

Ja, wer weiß... Es klingt einfach so unglaublich surreal.

The $600 dollars so far have been 6 $100 donations, and each donor has claimed the $100 donation "perk" offered. Seems legit.

Of course, it can be legit. This is just my general cautiousness speaking.

>A year later and I've received neither product nor promised refund. So I'll say NOT LEGIT @kewibra #kewibra

>muyiwa@kewibra.com #kewibra @kewibra Well, Muyiwa O., you got 100 bucks from me and I got nothing from you, not even the promised refund.

I paid thru paypal (Dec 2013) and then forgot about it.. there was supposed to be a delivery in June. When I contacted him to ask wtf in Sept - there was still a functioning twitter account- he offered a refund. Of course, it's outside of the time limit for paypal to be able to do anything, and now I see failed attempts at indiegogo and kickstarter. This guy is nuts and a fraud and I'm out 100 bucks. -Amy Jenkins @overlockr

Exactly like Amy - paid via Paypal for advanced order. Forgot about it then realised it hadn't arrived. Never had any response to my many attempts to contact the company though, so not even the offer of a refund.

So sorry to hear that!

Their fb-page seems to be down, but their web page is still online - they don't seem to react to anyone's emails though :(

It's shameful how they (he?) makes money with the misery of women* by promising them a better bra solution. Not even does his attempt suck imo, this is just a plain scam.

so sorry you lost your money!

 

xoxo denocte

I, too, a large breasted woman hoping that finally a strapless bra that would work was coming my way, lost my money. I never forgot. I emailed them and they assured me that they were just a little behind in production or what have you. Since I have emailed them multiple times and had absolutely no response. Now it seems they have no more FB page, which is unfortunate because I wanted to publicly shame them. The website is a joke and they seem to have sold the company to someone else. Bad, bad KEWI BRA! BAD!

Yep. $150 gone. They promised me it was sending and delayed and then they vanished. I've emailed, left messages and requested payment from them on PayPal. Nothing.

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