How to look sexy in a harness – Bound_UK naked interview

Why do we need a harness from Bound UK?

When one first embarks on the adventure of joining the kink scene, attending events and trying to signal to kindred souls and establish belonging to a collective identity, one may find the wardrobe lacking in suitable attire. Sure, you can have any niche look. Wearing black goes a long way for a munch or a discrete social event. But how does one really get into role and explore this side of oneself, look fantastic and present your most authentic self to those you wish to join? The legendary harness.

With physical clothing stores closed the Christmas money is burning a hole in your pocket. We’ve a fond wish to plan for better times ahead. We dream of the places we will go and the things we will try. What better to do than get your post-lockdown kink wardrobe kicking butt? Using with the best online shops and preparing to launch oneself, without heed or restraint, into the new adventures that await in the ‘after’.

A woman with curly hair wearing a black harness made by Bound UK

We speak to the wonderful creator of Bound UK, an independent harness and accessory online creative, about all things harness.

To be a proper discover(er), you must be properly dressed.

Terry Prachett on exploration
How did Bound get started?  How long has it been about?

I first thought up Bound about 5 years ago now. It started in my parents’ basement making pieces for Etsy under the name Bound Accessories. My first market was over Toronto Pride weekend 2015. I had just graduated from my fashion degree and new I wanted to do something alternative that spoke to my own interests. I was obsessed with harnesses at the time and made my first samples to fit myself, wore them to a few kink events, received awesome feedback and opened the store not long after

Tshirt with harness on a mannequin by Bound UK
Do you design or make your own harnesses and products for Bound UK?

I do! I design and make everything I sell, and Bound is currently a one woman operation from top to bottom. It’s a lot of work but it’s worth it to have something that I’m able to build from the ground up. It’s the type of work I’ve always wanted to do.

Harness on a manneqin by Bound UK
 Are your products exclusively available through your shops or can Bound be bought elsewhere?

For now, all my products are solely available through my Etsy store

What made you choose to specialise in harness wear?

I’ve always been deeply fascinated with harnesses. Depending on their material they can take on so many different aesthetics. They’re this accessory that can evolve and adapt to suit so many different occasions as well. They make you feel and look like a badass and there’s this confidence that comes with wearing them. No matter what you have on, if you throw a harness on over it, the outfit just feels different and I love seeing that on people.

Jewellery by bound UK
Would you say your customers at Bound UK are more kink scene or cosplayers?

What I’m loving about my client base is that they’re so diverse. I see kinksters, and that’s always going to be a big part of my clientele.I also see cosplayers, goth and scene kids, and more vanilla customers who want that little something special. What’s great about working with a material like elastic is that it’s not as intimidating as leather or vinyl. I really wanted to make my pieces approachable without sacrificing my aesthetic, in hopes of attracting that more mainstream client that may be curious about if something like this is for them.

Harness by Bound UK over a black jumper on a mannequin
You have a diverse selection of models at Bound – was this intentional and how hard was it to find them?

Being a queer black woman, diversity is super important to me. A lot of the photos on my Instagram are pictures of me. I’m a size UK 16/18 and It was important to me to show people that it really doesn’t matter if you’re not the typical build or colour (when it comes to lingerie and kink). These are pieces that can be worn by anybody, all you need is the confidence to do so. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing my products on a lot of different body types. That’s not always easy to find, but Instagram does help a lot.

Harness with chains by Bound UK on a black knitted dress on a mannequin
Do you have a bricks and mortar shop for Bound UK or are you online only?

I currently don’t have a bricks and mortar shop, but I do participate in markets whenever possible.

Do you do festivals/event stalls where people can see your items in real life?

I would love to participate in more festivals, when those become active again, but for now I do markets whenever possible. I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of local markets like Queer Fayre, and Le Boutique Bazaar. I try and attend events where my pieces will be best received, and kink and queer markets are fun, safe spaces where people feel comfortable trying on and showing off my work. I’ve got a few markets I’d love to do in 2021 as soon as those become a thing again.

Crescent and ring harness by Bound UK on a black velvet stnd
Your Instagram at Bound UK says you support the BLM protests.  How integral is that to the work you do?

BLM is incredibly important to me, being a black woman. It’s also a massive part of Bound’s story, being what propelled it forward in June 2020. I received a lot of positive feedback and support from people on Instagram that month and was featured alongside a lot of other black alternative designers and creators. It was an incredibly emotional time and having that support really pushed me to keep Bound moving forward. Being a black owned business is something I have a lot of pride in.

Neck harness by bound UK worn with matching earring accessories
Are you a kinkster or cosplayer?  Or more of a designer?  How much do your own interests overlap with the work you do?

I spent a big part of my youth cosplaying and going to conventions and was obsessed with anime growing up. I started cosplaying in high school and didn’t stop until I moved to the UK 5 years ago. I’ve always been a weird goth kid and still watch anime when I get the chance. Being a part of the kink community has definitely been an influence on my work. All I’ve ever wanted to do was find a way to fuse that side of myself with my love for fashion. I would say I’m more of a designer now.

Who suits a harness?  Are there any tips to finding the best style for your body shape?

Anyone and everyone, no matter your shape or size, can wear a harness. The only question you need to ask yourself when trying a piece on, is how does it make you feel? If you love it on you and it fits comfortably then that’s the piece for you! I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of my customers in person during markets and events. There hasn’t yet been a body shape of type of person that looks best in a particular style. I would say it’s a very personal thing. If it’s your first time buying a harness, I would say find a style that speaks to you. Send me a PM and if you have sizing or fit concerns I’ll happily make that piece your perfect match!

Bound UK harness garter set with black mesh top and black underwear worn by model
Do you do harnesses in vegan leather?

I’m currently only working with elastic, for the wonderful stretch factor and the accessible price point, both things that mean a lot to me. I do have plans for expanding into vegan leather.

Which events would you recommend to wear the harnesses and other items from Bound to?

Depending on the piece, you can get away with wearing them anywhere. I’ve had clients that chose to wear them over a slouchy T-shirt for a day of leisure. They’re ideal for a night out, whether that be a club night, or a kink event. With elastic harnesses, it’s really about how many you’re wearing at a given time. One chest or leg piece is casual, but a full set may be more for an evening out (or in!) I’ve worn mine to events like SWEAT, a queer women/NB/TRANS night at a local sauna. I’ve also layered many pieces together for kink events like Verboten and Torture Garden.

If someone loves your Bound UK brand, is there a way they can apply to work with you as a model, creator or affiliate?

Absolutely! I respond to both DM’s on Instagram and email. I’m always looking for creatives to collaborate with!

Do you do custom harnesses and pieces at Bound UK?

I love doing custom pieces! I have that as an option for anyone looking for something more unique or specific to their needs – invite people to message me on Etsy with their ideas and between the two of us, come up with something that they love. Custom designs are my opportunity to put my brain to work. Harnesses can sometimes feel like a puzzle. The fun is figuring out how to make all the pieces fit together right.

What’s the advantage of wearing a harness?

The biggest advantage to wearing a harness is the confidence. Whether you’re wearing it on top of your clothing or wearing it just for you, it changes the way your feel, the way you walk. For me, it gives me permission to be bold. I’m normally quite a shy and reserved person. But when I’m wearing my pieces, even if it’s just to the grocery store, I feel secure in myself. I’ve made a decision not to hide.

What’s the best way to care for a harness you buy?

The best way to care for a harness is too avoid getting the rings too wet. It will shorten the life of your piece. I recommend a gentle soap and towel or a baby wipe to clean the straps, then lay it flat to dry.

What kind of clothing goes best with a harness?  Can you recommend any brands?

The clothing that goes best with a harness is really a personal choice. I’ve seen clients that wear it over their everyday clothing and look incredible! But for that classic look, a more alternative brand is going to give you that wow factor for a night out. There are tonnes of awesome alternative brands you can go to, to find pieces that work great with a harness. Some fantastic black-owned alternative and goth brands would be Gothic Lamb, Sinister Sisters, Dark Jasmine Fashion, and In Control Clothing. Other brands such as Restyle, Disturbia and Killstar are staples.

What’s the most annoying message people always send you on instagram?

I think I’ve been really lucky so far with messages on Instagram as mostly the messages I get are quite respectful and well meaning. Nothing has annoyed me yet, so far!

What social media links can people get in contact with you on?  Where can they shop for your Bound UK harnesses and products?

My pieces can be found either through my Instagram account, @bound_uk or directly through Etsy, I happily respond to direct messages on both platforms.

Images courtesy of Bound UK and remain the copyright property of Bound UK

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