From Fetish to Fashion: The Journey of Rubberwear


Once shocking and fetishistic, rubberwear has now made its way into mainstream fashion, gracing catwalks and red carpets alike. This article delves into the eventful journey of rubberwear from its taboo origins to its modern-day embrace.

The Emergence on the Fashion Scene

Earlier this year, fashion houses like Gucci, Vivienne Westwood, and Balmain showcased models donning rubberwear. Not to forget celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Rachel Weisz who made latex the talk of the town at major events.

From Secrecy to Center Stage

Long considered as a subject for censorship, rubberwear has come a long way. With over 200 years in the making, this unique material has migrated from Brazilian rainforests to secretive dungeons and now to the limelight.

The Origins of Latex

Though associated with modernism, the origins of latex are ancient and rooted in natural sources. The New York-based latex designer known as The Baroness enlightens us on the often misunderstood substance.

A Dark History

The exploitation of natural rubber in colonial times came at a high human cost, especially in regions like the Brazilian Amazon and King Leopold’s Congo.

Latex and Power Dynamics

From its use in medicine and warfare to becoming a source of sexual pleasure, latex has always been entangled with power dynamics in society.

Early Adopters

From the Mackintosh Society to underground fetishists, the rubberwear movement has had its share of loyal followers.

Mainstreaming Fetish

Thanks to pioneers like John Sutcliffe and shows like The Avengers, latex fashion re-emerged from the underground into the public eye in the late 1950s and 1960s.

The Punk Revolution

In the 1970s, punk pioneers like Vivienne Westwood embraced rubberwear, transforming its meaning and social perception.

Modern-day Impact

Latex has been featured prominently in popular media, from action films to music videos, indicating a broader acceptance and intrigue.

Designers and Celebrity Influence

From Stella McCartney to Atsuko Kudo, designers and celebrities have played a significant role in normalizing rubberwear in high fashion.

The Message Behind the Material

Latex has gone from being a taboo to a symbol of empowerment and personal freedom.


While it’s more accepted than ever before, rubberwear still retains its ability to shock and command attention. Its journey serves as a testament to the ever-evolving nature of fashion and societal norms.