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Suit up for your daily heroics with superhero underwear.  Who are the superheroes?  Real women of note.
Suit up for your daily heroics with superhero underwear. Who are the superheroes? Real women of note.
210 backers pledged $7,198 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$7,198

210

Hello. 

I'm Shelly. By day, I'm a graduate design student at the School of Visual Arts.  But by night, I'm on a mission, fighting back against bad women's underwear. 

What do I mean by bad?  

The culprits behind these offenders are mainstream manufacturers.
The culprits behind these offenders are mainstream manufacturers.

Why the fuss about underwear?

It's one of the first things I put on in the morning, and highly personal, since no one else sees it as much as I do.  What if we could start our days by putting on something playful and empowering,  instead of bland, uncomfortable, or objectifying? I'm imagining a future where underwear gives our groggy morning selves a reason to smile.  

So I asked friends what kind of messages they'd like to see on their underwear -- what made them feel playful and empowered -- and several told me stories about superhero underwear they had as kids.  

Then, I noticed how existing female superheroes are portrayed. Not anywhere near empowering.

Spotted by The Hawkeye Initiative
Spotted by The Hawkeye Initiative

Thinking about the awesome female role models I'm inspired by, I decided to start The League of Ladies, to celebrate the many ways that real women are super. By illustrating amazing women of the past and present as the superheroes they really are, I hope to inspire a new generation of superheroes.  

You are a superhero-in-progress.  Whether your daily heroics are small or large, The League of Ladies is here to bring out your inner superpowers, with super-powered underwear.

The Inaugural Superheroes of The League of Ladies

Superhero Frida: inspired by Frida Kahlo

Frida is much more than colorful clothes and a unibrow.  Through her frank and imaginative canvasses, she painted out her inner truths, however painful or bizarre. Frida's superpower: saying things everybody else is too afraid to say.  Embody her fearless creative spirit with a pair of Frida undies.

Superhero Amelia: inspired by Amelia Earhart

You probably know how aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart set long-distance flight records, and perished during a daring attempt to circumnavigate the globe.  But did you know about all the odd jobs she took on to pay her for flying lessons?  Amelia undies are for the savvy, spirited adventurer in all of us. Amelia's superpower? Flight.

Superhero Marie: inspired by Marie Curie

Winning two Nobel prizes in two separate scientific fields is no easy task, but Marie persevered. Her superpower is glowing in the dark -- an homage to every woman in science, shining light into the unknown, with the strength of our intellects.

Where You Come In

This is uncharted territory.  As a backer, you can help me bring awesome female superheroes to life.  Here's what I have planned:

  • As a backer, you can jump in and finalize designs for Frida, Amelia, and Marie, by voting in a simple survey on final designs for screen-printing.
  • You can also vote on the type of underwear you want: cotton stretch women's boyshorts, or unisex boxer briefs?
  • Once designs are finalized, and my screen-printers and I are happy with the choice of ink, your support will fund The League of Ladies' first print run!  
  • I'm super excited about this project, and with enough support, plan on continuing onwards, releasing a new female superhero every other month.  Soon, you could have one pair of superhero underwear for every day of the week!

Underwear Details

The League of Ladies underwear will be screen-printed onto American Apparel cotton stretch underwear.  As a backer, you can help determine the type of underwear (boyshorts, unisex boxer briefs, or both!) and the final designs.

I'm currently working with screen-printing studios to create underwear samples with discharge printing, water-based inks, or soft-hand additives to screen-printing inks to determine which method has the best color fidelity and soft hand feel.

Here are expected sizes for women's boyshorts:

from American Apparel
from American Apparel

And unisex boxer briefs:

from American Apparel
from American Apparel

Press About The League:

Autostraddle sez: "No but seriously, who can say no to superhero women on your butt? I for one would never tell a superhero lady to get off my butt. Ever."

Sarah Dropek of PolicyMic wrote: "When I put my underwear on in the morning, I hardly think about what I'm doing...so when I was introduced to The League of Ladies...I couldn't have been more ecstatic. What could be better than turning a mindless task into a fun, informative, and empowering action?"

Risks and challenges

Finding the right ink and printing around underwear seams are the largest foreseeable challenges. The former can be overcome with my screen-printer's expertise, and the latter by altering designs so they avoid underwear seams.

The end of this Kickstarter coincides (all according to my master plan) with the start of the summer break between my graduate school coursework. With my visual and product design experience, I'm looking forward to spending part of my summer bringing inspiring female superheroes to life.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    POWERS OF TELEPATHY: I will beam you a set of wallpapers for your phone and computer screen, featuring illustrations of superhero Frida, Amelia, and Marie.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    TIMELORD PACKAGE: Speed back through time with a set of 3 zines, written and illustrated by me, detailing the incredible lives of the League's first 3 superheroes.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    POWERS OF SELF-EXPRESSION (TEAM FRIDA): Bring out your fearless creativity, by getting one of the first pairs of superhero Frida undies, plus your own copy of her zine!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    POWERS OF FLIGHT (TEAM AMELIA): Start your day in high-flying spirits, with superhero Amelia undies, plus your own copy of her zine!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    POWERS OF INTELLECT (TEAM MARIE): Smart is definitely a superpower, so think away when you get your pair of superhero Marie undies, and a copy of her zine.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    TRIPLE THREAT: What's better than one superhero? Three! Get a 3-pair package of underwear and zines of the League's first 3 superheroes.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    REAL LIFE SUPERHERO ADVENTURE MISSION: Together we adventure to the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Store, and find high-quality crime-fighting merchandise to enhance our top secret lairs.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    CO-CONSPIRATOR: You, yes you, get to choose the 4th League of Ladies superhero! What lady do you want to see transformed into a superhero? We'll work together to create a character and underwear design. Additionally, you receive 5 pairs of underwear (1 for each character, and a bonus for a friend!), and 4 zines.

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Funding period

- (21 days)