Carne Bollente is filling a niche we knew existed but didn't know we needed — sex-positive streetwear. The brand, founded in 2014 by friends Hijiri Endo, Théodore Famery and Agoston Palinko, makes a range of apparel, with each piece outfitted with the brand’s signature: embroidered sexual acts. Talk about breaking necks on the streets.
“Through our creations, we want to positively change cultural attitudes and sexual norms,” co-founder Hiji Endo explains to me. "There are loads of definitions of sex positivity, but the main idea is that we want everybody to feel confident, safe and free in their sexual identity. Including their sexual expression, orientation, relationship to their bodies, and reproductive rights."
The brand doesn't just translate our carnal desires onto clothing, it also works with foundations and charities dedicated to improving our sexual lives, including AIDS associations and those promoting transgender rights.
For its latest collection, Carne Bollente teamed up with an icon of homoerotic art, Tom of Finland. Even if you don't know the name, it's likely you know Tom of Finland's images. Last year, Highsnobiety published a 100 years retrospective of the artist, exploring how his “distinct style of man-on-man action has penetrated pop culture.” After posting the article on Instagram, a deluge of homophobic comments followed and 32,308 users abruptly unfollowed our account. The event exposed how deeply embedded homophobia is in streetwear — and how powerful Tom of Finland’s work is.
With 10 percent of proceeds going towards the Tom of Finland Foundation's mission of “protecting, preserving, and promoting the erotic arts”, you can wear your fresh pieces knowing you're continuing his legacy — and pissing off homophobes in the process.
Below, we spoke to Carne Bollente about its latest collection. From an imaginary porn studio to ancient Greek sex toys, get an insider look at each piece below.
Lust Bound T-shirt
"For this illustration, we took inspiration from a book named Bound by Lust, romantic stories of submission and sensuality. It's important to note that we believe in freedom of different kinks and plays, but with consent only, that’s why we included this important message too!"
"Usually we really love playing with the '60s and '70s because that's when people started talking about feminism, freedom of sex etc. But this season, we decided to focus on '70s and '80s. We had been watching a lot of movies from that era, and we decided to create this idea of the Carne Bollente Porn Studio, which is the title of our AW21 collection. The Sindrella T-shirt is a scene from one of our imaginary porn movies."
Tom of Finland Collab
"Tom of Finland was a great activist during the '80s and '90s when HIV really began to hit the community. He was opening working on gay art and he was one of the first people to work on that subject as an artist. We've always had such respect for his work and we are very lucky to be able to work with the foundation. For these pieces, we mixed our signature embroidery with his illustrations."
The Final Orgasm
"We've been using this slogan for a while and it's really fun to make something so explicit. There's not much meaning behind it, just that orgasms are fantastic and everyone loves them."
Erotic Adventures Jacket
"This is one of my favorite pieces. The idea comes from a traditional Hungarian hand embroidery work, our co-founder Agoston is from Hungary, and we thought it would be cool to focus and take inspiration from our roots. He found these beautiful references of handmade embroideries from Hungary, and we applied the technique into the design."
"We went to a museum to do research into the past because sexual objects have always existed in the world and many of them actually originate from the Roman or Ancient Greek period. We decided to curate beautiful objects from different places and eras."
Sunny Blow Cap
"We call this one Dick face — it's a sun with a face, but there's also a guy with a dick."
Moonlight Frictions Cap
"For the last few years, we've tried to incorporate more inclusivity into our designs. This one is simple, it's a lesbian couple — two beautiful women having fun and making love under the moon."
7 Sex Benefits Hoodie
"This one is really fun, we thought it would be really nice to try to think of different benefits of having sex. There is no scientific reference or proof to our points, just our opinions!"
Domination Fantasies Socks
"With this image, we are trying to represent the power of women. For example, we never draw illustrations that show women in a vulnerable position, we always show them stronger than men."
"This is another piece from the Carne Bollente Porn Studio, the idea was that it was a really successful studio in the '70s and '80s and then suddenly it stopped making films and people started gathering archives of the studio. This one is a sexy Sci-Fi film."
Every season we like to draw different illustrations of people hanging out, maybe having sex or hugging and kissing. It's a representation of being united and being together with everyone.
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