"Would you like a micro bikini, Miss? No, too big? What about the radical invisible one? Showing too much off? Well maybe you should settle for the the indecent ones, They are after all our top sellers."
This is what I assume a conversation would have had sounded like in a Sublime Bikinis sales outlet (but they do not have one, only a web shop). I had a talk with the owner of the online Micro Bikini company.
The smaller and more see-through, the better!
The owner is Flo Verlaner, with experience from exotic dancing she started her micro bikini company in 2003. The New Zealand based company offers a wide range of micro bikinis and also a few "standard" ones, but surely not many would dare to go to the beach in a bikini with the name illegal or indecent?
Quite the contrary, the smallest styles are the best sellers according to Flo: -"The "Indecent" Bikini is the most popular style - the smaller and more see-through, the better! I love to help people bring out their cheeky side."
Used by Strippers
That the "Indecent" bikini is the top seller must surely have something to do with the exclusive and attractive customers of Sublime Bikinis. According to their site they supply many exotic dancers and strippers with "work wear." Flo confirms this: -Yes, we supply alot of exotic dancers here in New Zealand and overseas. I originally started out making costumes for exotic dancers, and I'm still one of the main suppliers to that industry here in New Zealand. Many of our models are exotic dancers, and all our designs get a thorough testing onstage.
Sexy and comfortable
Tell us a bit more about the onstage testing of bikinis: -Dancers and strippers need bikinis and g strings that will stand up to alot of wear and tear. The garments are often being taken off and put on again repeatedly all night, and stretched or pulled around. I like to make sure that my G strings and Bikinis are string and well-made, using high quality fabrics/threads/trims etc. I also design the garments so that they have a flattering shape - sexy and comfortable.
You have experience from exotic dancing yourself? - Yes, I have some past experience in exotic dance, and am currently involved in a Burlesque troupe. I've found my dance experience too be very helpful in designing my garments and choosing fabrics.
Naomi Klein: Take notice!
On the site it says that you and your assistant are making the bikinis in your "workroom" in New Zealand, this is as anti-sweatshop as it gets! - We still make all garments in our small workroom. I like it this way, as it means I can keep a close eye on the quality of each item and can cater to special requests for customized bikinis. It's still just the two of us, and we stay pretty busy keeping up with orders.
The bikinis end up on the beaches and strip clubs of USA
What are your main markets? -Our main market is actually the US, with only a small percentage of our sales coming from New Zealand and Australia. The majority of our customers are in the US, UK and Europe, and we also have quite a few customers in Japan.
The chances of seeing the bikinis on a beach near you are pretty high
Who is your typical customer? Is it a professional stripper or dancer, or "normal civilians"? -My typical customer is actually a regular "civilian". Most of my customers are just regular people who enjoy dressing up and wearing something a bit cheeky. My customers are all sizes and ages, which goes to prove that you don't need to be a supermodel to be sexy and confident.