By Geri McMeek
The Japanese have, once again, brought to life a strange-but-true creation which has become a best-seller for its designers, Wish Room. The “premium brassiere for men” is made of soft polyester and has removable straps (for those off-the-shoulder outfits). It is available in black, white and baby pink. For a complete look, matching thongs are available, although these do not seem to be as popular as the “masculine-cut” bra, known as the menzusukyanti in Japanese.
The garment was primarily aimed at the Japanese cross-dressing market. However, its comfort and desirability have streamed it onto a wider consumer platform. The bra is not only for those overly curvaceous men with ‘man-boobs’ – the menzusukyanti accommodates all male chest sizes. The bra is now the company’s fastest-selling men’s garment. Masayuki Tsuchiya, a Wish Room representative, said, “I like this tight feeling. It feels good.” Executive Director of Wish Room, Akiko Okunomya claims, “More and more men are becoming interested in bras. Since we launched the men’s bra, we’ve been getting feedback like, ‘Wow, we’d been waiting for this [the launch of a man-bra] for such a long time.’’” Okunomya also believes that the bra will give men an understanding of what it is like to be a woman, making them “gentler and more caring”. Available at a retail price of around R250 each, the only complaint about the bra has been that a cuter design is desired by customers – with more colours and styles.