Interview with TlcLatex owner ; Simon Aisbitt
Interview by Jessica Plumb
Firstly, thank you so much for this interview today and hope all is well, especially with what’s going on at the moment with the COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s start at the beginning; how and when was ‘TLC Latex’ first created and when did you first get the idea to create this line?
Originally it was called TlcDesigns. When I first started making things, mainly as a hobby about 20 years ago, I always felt the name wasn’t latex specific, so I knew I would need to change it slightly if things developed enough. It was only in the last 5 years I decided it was time to look at making my clothing into a business. I finally got everything ready to start selling my products about 2 years ago and altered the name to TlcLatex.
Your products are made with such quality. Where do you source the material?
I’m very happy you think of my clothing as a quality product. I am by nature a pain in the arse perfectionist, so quality is very important to me. I source the latex I use from several sources Radical Rubber, Supatex , Yummygummylatex and Rubear.Moscow.
What’s your creative process from the start to finish when making them?
I start with a pattern which I generally make them myself; a process I had to learn. I then transfer the pattern to latex, cut out the pattern and glue the sections together. Once glueing is completed and dried, I then clean and polish before shipping.
Were you always creative as a child and interested in making things?
Yeah, I think that’s fair to say. Since childhood, I have always been able to look at something and see how it’s put together. If I see something being made I seem to be able to do it too, don’t ask me how even I don’t understand it sometimes. I do enjoy making things and can turn my hand to most things.
Have you always been into the gothic/fetish scene? When did it first begin? And what does it mean to you?
I can’t really claim to be involved at any level in the goth scene, my interest in latex really stemmed from the fetish scene. My interest in fetish clothing started when I was 14 but I only really got into the scene itself when I was 18 and was living in London. It’s really an integral part of me, after all, we can’t really change what we are, or what we like deep down. I’m sure my love of this will stay with me till I die..hehe
How do you get inspired to make your products and come up with new ideas?
That’s a hard question to answer really. Ideas often just come to me out of the blue. I always love looking at things through designers eyes. There are so many things which have never been tried in latex so it’s a lot of fun trying to recreate something too.
With over 6k followers on Instagram, what makes you such a good promoter when selling your goods?
How do you feel is the best way to advertise your brand?
I’m amazed to have so many followers, to be honest. I never expected to reach the number I have, however, been keeping things in perspective as there are people with a million followers so I’m still very small compared to some. I think I’ve been lucky to work with some truly wonderful models such as @chloe.anna.marie , @iamsabien & @latex_nai which has helped tremendously, as they look so amazing in latex and who wouldn’t want to see their pictures? I use stories on Instagram a lot so when I’ve done photoshoots I post a lot of #Bts stuff which is fun, but there’s no getting away from the fact, photographer John from @latexandlingerie and Cole from @latexfashiontv have helped me create some wonderful images. It helps get me known and raise the profile of my work for obvious reasons.
Are there any new items coming out soon? If so, can you tell us?
I’m hoping to add some new lines soon. My main problem just now is finding time to make them, especially with the COVID-19 restrictions still very evident. Photoshoots for new products will be a problem for a while, but new items I will be adding soon, Men’s Latex, Hoods, Inflatables, more women’s latex, possible some bondage gear, and I have a range of quality fetish boots due in shortly!
With such an amazing range of Latex clothing, which one is your personal favourite?
If I had to pick one item that I’ve made which is perhaps my favourite, I would have to say it was the ‘Black Sabbath’ inspired dress I made for Chloe; which was inspired by the album Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. It looks amazing and glows in a certain light.
Using such professional photos, do you work with one photographer, or do you have a team?
I tend to stick to one photographer. I use John from LatexandLingerie because not only is he a great guy, he takes great photos and knows what I’m after. I often find sometimes photographers concentrate on the model and not the outfit. John manages to take great pictures which show my outfits at their best but that make the models look fantastic, and I’m pleased to say he doesn’t spend months editing 3 photos which some do. I trust him to take great photos and that’s what he does.
Any tips to anyone on Latex care?
You can find an easy to read section on my website which details many simple hints on tips on care for your latex. TlcLatex Online Store – https://tlclatex.com/pages/latex-care-guide
How do you choose the models you use on your Instagram for promotion?
I don’t have set guidelines as to who I use to model for me, but I am guilty of using several models on a regular basis because they are gorgeous, and lovely to work with. I do try to use other models too, but a lot depends on the images I’m looking to create and the outfit I’m wanting to show.
Have you had any musicians, or alternative influencer’s buying your products?
Not as far as I know, but I’m perhaps as I get more well-known someone may approach me?
What other things do you sell on your site, aside from Latex Clothing?
I also sell latex polish and care products. and very soon you’ll see the new range of boots and shoes too.
Do you make everything yourself that is featured on your site, or do other businesses approach you?
No, I make everything myself.
Who would you love to calibrate with in the future, be it a model, musician, photographer?
Goodness, that’s a good question, and if I’m honest the list is very long! But I guess somebody like Paloma Faith or Dita von Tease would be amazing!
What advice or encouragement would you give someone wanting to try fetish/latex fashion?
I think many people would like to try latex but sometimes never take the plunge because they worry it won’t flatter them or they worry what others think. I believe when people try Latex for the first time they get addicted very quickly. It’s soft sensual and makes you look fantastic. It’s very mainstream now and I would encourage people interested in trying it. My advice would be to start with leggings or something similar and just have fun with it.
Is there anything you would like to mention or say to our readers?
Thanks for taking the time to read about my label. I’m always happy to chat with people so feel free to contact me if you have any questions!