“I knew that if I was going to start a fashion line there was no question about size.”
There are few things more frowned upon by our society than a woman owning up to her sexuality. Even more so when it comes to a woman who, based on society’s “guidelines” and preconceptions, shouldn’t even be sexual, as her body is not “considered” to be desirable. Fetishwear used to be something reserved solely for intimate moments spent in dark, hidden, secret dungeons and what was going on in there was never to be talked about publicly, especially by women. Nowadays, things are changing and I think that bringing fetishwear to the light (both metaphorically and non-metaphorically speaking) has a lot to do with empowerment and with women no longer being ashamed of the fact that we actually are sexual beings. Also, considering the fact that most “normal” clothing lines don’t bother to manufacture bigger sizes, even though the demand is there, I think that being able to empower yourself and own up your sexuality, no matter your body type, is indeed a huge thing. That’s why what Teale Coco does is damn admirable.
Teale Coco, 24, Australia. I am an agency represented international model, fashion designer, and photographer.
You’ve managed to build an empire out of nothing. How hard was it to get to where you are today? How did you start and what were the obstacles you had to surpass?
Nothing comes easy. What looks like a giant leap is lots of little baby steps. Business will always have obstacles you have to face, ups and downs, highs and lows. I use every problem I encounter as a chance to learn and do better the next time I am confronted with the situation. Make sure that I move on and grow from a situation and not stay stagnate. This is how I face every challenge in life.
Fetish wear used to be something reserved solely for the bedroom or for “weirdos”, however, your brand has met incredible success, prompting leather harnesses to actually become a trend.
I think it’s about empowerment. we are looking to feel empowered as individuals & are looking for a way to express ourselves. Being able to harness your own personal power is the most liberating form of personal expression. My designs are merely fetish inspired as they are functional, comfortable, garments that give the wearer the same empowering comfort of fetish clothing, which is all about liberation and embracings oneself and desires.
Most brands cater fetish wear only to small sizes, however, you decided to swim against the current and encourage people of all shapes and sizes to go for it. Tell us more about what motivated you to do this and what were people’s reactions.
I knew that if I was going to start a fashion line there was no question about size. I would make clothes that are available in ALL shapes and sizes as it saw it was something that was lacking in the fashion industry. Seeing as my designs are handmade and everything is run locally, there was no excuse NOT to have larger and smaller sizes available out of standard sizing ranges. We do not have the limitations that most factory’s who are not handmade have. I also wanted it to be a big “FUCK YOUR BEAUTY STANDARDS” to the industry.
You’re getting a lot of praise, however, I assume there are times when people are not as kind. Have you ever been bullied or harassed online? How do you cope with it?
Very rarely. If I do I delete and ignore it. I do not need poisonous on my positivity. I also know that NOTHING anyone says or does is because of me, it’s because of their own problems and insecurities.
6. What would you tell someone who loves your brand’s aesthetic, but is afraid to wear such pieces due to society’s prejudices?
FUCK SOCIETY. Do you! Don’t worry so much about what other people think.
7. What does a day in your life look like?
Depends on the day. No 2 days are the same!
8. What are some of the things people falsely assume about you?
That I like metal music.
That I worship the devil.
That I don’t eat food.
The same shit I have gotten my whole life really…
Photographer: Sean Higgins
Makeup/Styling/Creative direction/Model/Designs: Teale Coco
You post very revealing photos quite often. Have you been always this self-confident with your body?
No! I suffered most of my life from a chronic autoimmune disease which affected 85% of my skin, so it has always been hard for me to love and accept the skin I’m in!
How would you encourage a woman to embrace her body & sexuality?
Love YOU. Love YOURSELF. Touch your body, love your body, love yourself like you want someone else to love you. YOU are perfect just the way YOU are.