London hosiery brand questions accusations of anti-feminism

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo
Heist's new campaign

London-headquartered Heist, specialists in women's bodywear and tights, have launched a campaign challenging people to answer the question "Shapewear is anti-feminist, right?"

Across London, 18 adverts will be visible around London, asking commuters to answer the question. They're also encouraged to have their own say using social media and the hashtag #HeistTalk.

According to Heist, many feminists see shapewear - fitted garments that slim waists and mould curves - as against the liberation agenda, given that it encourages a lack of pride in your own body. The brand, however, wants to challenge that.

Heist is not known for polite and uncontroversial adverts. It's only been producing shapewear for around nine months, but has been selling high-quality tights for longer - and released a number of conversation-sparking ads for them.

TfL banned a 2017 Heist advert selling tights, which featured a woman's bare back as she danced and jumped in tights, reasoning that it was "overtly sexual." At the time, a Heist spokesperson said "We don’t believe that the advert is offensive in any way... we do not understand why it is ‘overtly sexual’ to show a woman’s back."

Speaking about the newest campaign, Heist’s VP of Marketing, Hannah Craik, said: “This campaign addresses the fact there is still a huge amount of stigma around shapewear; women are still shamed for wearing it - and for wanting to look and feel good.

"We hear a lot - shapewear is the modern-day corset therefore it must be anti-feminist - because we think there is more to it. For us, just like with make-up, it’s about having choice over your appearance.”

The campaign questioning shapewear's anti-feminist credentials is also running across Heist's website.