Zhe by Karyn Elizabeth is an empowering line of undergarments for TGNC community

"The future is inclusive" with this news line of undergarments specifically for the Trans and gender non-conforming community, Zhe by Karyn Elizabeth.

Karyn Elizabeth, designer of Zhe

Karyn Elizabeth is the designer behind Zhe, a new line of undergarments for Trans women that champions inclusivity and respect. Karyn took the time to chat with us at GCN and give us all the details on this amazing creative venture.

“I was inspired while taking my daughter, Lily, on our first shopping spree together,” Karyn tells us. “She and I spent a whole day in Manhattan, getting makeup, buying shoes and clothing but when it came to undergarments, there was nothing.

“Lily and I discussed how transgender women have to use DIY options for tucking and she educated me on what she and other trans women had to do just to feel confident. I set out to develop an alternative that would be secure enough to try to eliminate those unhealthy DIY practices, but also to be beautiful. I wanted transgender women to have a line that was made with their bodies in mind.”

Although this line was inspired by her daughter, Karyn’s love of fashion has been with her since she was a child when she used to look at fashion magazines and sketch. As an adult, when she was studiously watching Project Runway and other fashion shows, she decided to enrol in Parsons School of Design in NYC to hone her craft.

“I know that lingerie seems like a frivolous way to uplift people, but your undergarments are the first thing you put on your body when you get dressed,” said Karyn, on the importance of collections like hers specifically designed for Trans and gender-nonconforming bodies.

“Lingerie touches the most vulnerable and intimate parts of our bodies, to have them be affirming, is just that, affirming. They are called “foundation” garments, you build your wardrobe around them, shouldn’t everyone have that available to them?”

On some of the specific features of the Zhe line, Karyn tells us, “What sets Zhe apart from undergarments and lingerie geared for cis women, is that I listened to the issues that Trans women told me were most important, the fit and function, and kept their bodies in mind while developing Zhe.

“The bralette for example, has a band size that can expand wider than most that are on the market now. Our bottoms are designed with a wider gusset and have compression in key areas.”

As a loving and accepting mother to a Trans daughter, we asked Karyn if there was anything she would like to share with other parents in her position about how they can support their Trans kids.

“Truly the most important thing that we, as parents, can do for our Transgender children (no matter how old) is to make sure they know they are loved and accepted,” she tells us sagely.

“I know that it is not easy for parents, but if it’s not easy for us, imagine how difficult it is for our kids.”

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