Jake DuPree, one of the gender-fluid models, brought themself some new red lingerie. What they were not aware of was the buzz it would eventually generate. For their birthday on 21st April, this fitness trainer and burlesque performer wore the limited-edition Regalia Skylar set and put their picture up on Instagram. Later, the lingerie brand Playful Promises reposted the same with the caption – “Oh my GOD, Jake DuPree causing heart palpitations in the Regalia Skylar set.” The post garnered a lot of positive comments. However, some comments were not kind towards Jake’s clothing. This is where the brand stepped in and deflected all the negativity. People all over, are applauding the brand’s support for Jake.
Playful Promises is the only lingerie brand I recognize from now on pic.twitter.com/pZOvLEj1c5
— vampyr (@givemeyourbIood) May 3, 2020
“I have followed them for years, just in awe of all of their lingerie. They always feature so many different types of female bodies, and I know inclusivity is very important to their brand. It’s very inspiring to see that, and I had never seen them post a male body before in their lingerie.”
– Jake DuPree regarding the Playful Promises to Out
Who is Jake DuPree?
Jake DuPree is a dancer, burlesque performer, and fitness instructor/host, based in Los Angeles. Jake is gender-fluid and went through a tough journey to explore their femininity. They contribute their strength and confidence to their long-distance relationships that they went through in their past. DuPree happens to be a proud member of the Actor’s Equity Association. Their regional musical theatre credits include Kinky Boots, West Side Story, Mary Poppins, CATS, A Chorus Line, Beauty & the Beast, and Catch Me If You Can. Additionally, Jake is one of the featured dancers on RuPaul’s Drag Race: All-Stars 3 as Shangela’s partner. They were Cosmopolitan magazine’s first-ever unicorn correspondent, known as Glitter Fantasy! Moreover, you can watch all of the viral, unicorn videos at “Glitter Fantasy the Unicorn” on Amazon Prime Video. With the success of the videos, the City of West Hollywood named them the “Queen of Carnaval” of the Halloween festivities in 2017.
Playful Promises – The Lingerie Brand
Playful Promises is a London based lingerie brand, which mixes quirky, directional design with truly diverse casting and representation throughout their campaigns. It was the first lingerie brand to cast a gender-fluid drag queen as the face of their collection in 2017 with Violet Chackhi and has since continued to cast trans models – notably Dani St James for this year’s Valentine’s Day campaign. They are one of the few brands that are passionate about diversity.
Thinking Beyond Gender
The past decade has seen a huge shift in attitudes towards gender. Consumers have become more resistant to gender clichés and stereotypes and younger generations are increasingly rejecting binary labels and definitions. All this is having a massive impact on the way that brands behave. Not only that, but it also affects the design of products and services. Where once it was something shackled to us at birth, traditional assumptions around gender are being challenged, and identification is increasingly becoming less binary and more fluid. This in turn is impacting the way brands communicate with people to pave the way for a more inclusive future. Young consumer groups are also holding brands more accountable, which could amplify pressures to change since advertising and media are often arbiters of what constitutes mainstream representation.
“The belief that there must be equality around race lines, around gender lines and around sexual preference lines continues to get stronger and stronger with younger generations.”
-Dipanjan Chatterjee, a VP and principal analyst at Forrester and author on a recent report from the researcher about why brands need to embrace a different approach to gender
Coming back to Playful Promises, they did the right thing in Jake’s case. The brand responded well when someone criticized Jake’s look. A viewer commented that they would never wear the look because they don’t want to be “seen in a set made for men”.
“Were you previously unaware that all garments can be worn by all genders?” the brand asked. Thus, this way the brand shut down haters and supported Jake to be as he is. In a simple way, they spoke volumes and made quite an impact.