Everyone's been there: You fly out the door, hustling to get to a morning meeting when things start to go south, literally. Slowly but surely, gravity takes hold, and your tights inch further and further down with every step you take. It triggers a sense of impending doom most women know all too well, but Meghan Markle's go-to hosiery brand, Heist, is looking to change that.
Like many men, Heist CEO Toby Darbyshire has never experienced this maddening fiasco firsthand. "People wonder why a man decided to start making women's underwear," Darbyshire admitted to me on a muggy morning in New York City, recalling the aha moment he realized the problem had gone unattended for far too long. "I was on the tube in London when I noticed this very stylish woman tugging at the tights beneath her skirt, struggling to pull them up. Pretty much every woman will tell you, 'Tights suck.'"
I am that woman on the train, and she is me. Ok, not actually — but I have been there too many times to count. I know how it feels to throw in the towel and stop smack-dab in the middle of the sidewalk to yank furiously at your drooping stockings, trying not to pinch yourself in the process. Avoiding the horrific chance that they creep so far down as to emerge past your hemline, you throw all dignified "charm" out the window and adjust as needed, not caring who sees.
This debacle seems commonplace to so many women, but Darbyshire was dumbfounded that it's still a thing in 2019. In the age of self-driving cars and 5G technology, why are people still settling for sub-par undergarments?
"If you look at Nike and Adidas, they're putting $2 billion per year towards research and development," Darbyshire explained, and he strives to mirror that dedication to efficacy with shapewear, backing Heist tights, underwear, and bodysuits by big data and award-winning engineering. "We've built a proper innovation lab, and we have some of the biggest data sets of 3D scans of women's bodies," he explained. And, they've got a renowned female inventor at the helm of their designs.
Utilizing pioneering swimwear technology by Fiona Fairhurst (who now serves as VP of Innovation at Heist), the collection uses the same biomimetic sharkskin technology that debuted at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, enhancing swimmers' performance substantially. With Fairhurst's science sewn throughout the very fibers of the brand, Heist products boast a unique ability to mesh and move with the body for unparalleled comfort and breathability.
Aside from Fairhurst's groundbreaking technology, Darbyshire's team has conducted extensive research to better understand the female form, in all its ebbs and flows. "If you're making women's underwear, you have to understand that women change shape once a month. You can't ignore this stuff. We spent a lot of time understanding how menstrual cycles affect the body shape and water retention."
With exciting launches like shaping shorts, colorful tights, and maternity wear in the pipeline, be prepared to see Heist across even more Instagram grids and city sidewalks. Considering Meghan Markle has given the brand her royal stamp of approval, it definitely won't be slowing down anytime soon.
When the new royal had a difficult time finding tights to match her skin tone, the British brand reached out to Markle about its data-backed color range. Capturing individual skin tones from 100,000 women around the world, Heist's data scientists identified seven key shades, providing a match for everyone on the spectrum.
With the arrival of the Outer Body bodysuit, which is available in a range of colors for a fashion-forward appeal, the time has come to ditch old-fashioned shapewear that requires tugging, tucking, and hiding. Instead, replace it with quality under (and over) garments you can show off proudly, or simply put on and forget about. Here's to no one ever having to be that very stylish, very flustered lady on the tube, ever again.