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Gender-Affirming Underwear Brand Urbody Calls Out Lizzo's Yitty Over 'Your Skin' Collection

Urbody says it previously met with the Yitty team, and ultimately “left feeling disappointed, hurt, and taken advantage of” by this latest launch.

Photo: Courtesy of Yitty

On March 30 — the day before Trans Day of Visibility and a year after launching — Lizzo‘s Yitty announced a new gender-affirming shapewear line dubbed “Your Skin.” 

Expected to launch this summer, the collection includes binders and tucking thongs for all gender identities, made using Yitty’s Headliner fabric. In an Instagram post, the brand wrote: “We believe in radical self-love for people of all gender identities — including the trans, non-binary, gender-fluid and gender non-conforming communities that have been chronically underserved.” The news was widely covered by outlets like Business of Fashion, Vogue and Fashionista.

While many fans were excited by the idea — especially coming from a brand backed by a celebrity (and by Fabletics), with sizes ranging from 6X to XS — others raised questions about “Your Skin” on the day of its reveal. 

Tagging Lizzo on Twitter, artist Zackary Trucker wrote that Yitty allegedly ordered product from the trans- and queer-owned gender-inclusive garment brand Urbody, leading Urbody to reach out and even meet with the team earlier this year about “Your Skin.” However, at that meeting, Urbody “saw no one from the trans community,” Trucker tweeted. “It wasn’t until today, when you announced #YourSkin (a line developed using Urbody’s designs for R&D), that Urbody was asked to consult to further the success of @lizzo‘s brand.” 

Drucker’s tweets began gaining traction, and Urbody eventually reposted her sentiments on Twitter and Instagram.

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Urbody was launched in 2021 by Mere Abrams and Anna Graham, driven by their struggles to find gender-affirming base layers. In a statement provided to Fashionista on Monday, the brand echoed what Trucker shared on Twitter: that Yitty placed an order for its compression tops in April 2022, after which Urbody reached out to share their expertise; however, the team didn’t hear back until a second order came in in early 2023, this time for tucking garments.

“We wrote to them about our story, the heart and soul that we’ve put into building our company in partnership with other trans folks, and our sincere hope that a large brand wasn’t attempting to profit off of our community’s hard work without proper recognition or collaboration,” the brand shared, in a statement. “When we finally got a meeting to discuss their line, we expected to see our community represented on the team — but we did not. After that meeting, we followed up multiple times with a proposal for how we could partner, but were largely ignored and brushed off, despite the Yitty team previously sharing that trans community insight was a gap for them and a key learning opportunity.”

Photos: Courtesy of Urbody

In its statement, the brand explained that it was “left feeling disappointed, hurt and taken advantage of,” not only because the collection has “strikingly similar creative, copy and designs” to Urbody, but also because this situation is “coming from the reality that the trans community, time and time again, is overlooked and marginalized — even when we have valuable experiences, talents and expertise to contribute.”

“As large companies continue to wade into the LGBTQ+ (and specifically trans/non-binary) market as an opportunity for growth, we become increasingly concerned that these business efforts will be made without properly centering and compensating our community,” the statement read. “And if we don’t speak up about this now, we worry that many other trans and gender non-conforming people will be similarly exploited.”

“If Yitty and Fabletics are going to make trans folks the face of the ‘Your Skin’ line, the trans community should be the backbone — whether that’s the Urbody team or other trans experts,” the brand said. “We think Yitty has gotten a lot of things right, from amplifying Lizzo’s platform to prioritizing size inclusivity — which makes it all the more disappointing to see this opportunity undercut by our experience. We admire Lizzo and how she’s been an advocate for inclusion, and we believe she’d be empathetic and aligned with us if she knew this backstory. We want to bring this matter to her attention. And more importantly, we want to stand up for trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people everywhere who deserve better.”

Neither Yitty nor Lizzo has responded to Urbody’s accusations or issued a statement on the matter. (Fashionista has reached out to the brand and will update this story when we hear back.) However, the story was amplified further on Monday by Diet Prada.

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Source: Fashionista.com

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