First there were thongs. Then Sisqo's "Thong Song."
And now: thong jewelry, designed to adorn the most barely-there of undergarments.
So how did underwear become outerwear? It didn't start with Monica Lewinsky showing hers to President Clinton.
About three to four years ago, "Gucci was one of the first fashion companies to show a low-riding skirt with the thong showing over the skirt," says Marnie McLaughlin, who knows all about underwear since she's the P.R. manager for Victoria's Secret.
Soon the ubiquitous thongs, worn primarily to get rid of unseemly panty lines, began creeping up and over waistbands of jeans, pants and skirts all over. "I've seen that trend trickle down," McLaughlin says.
Some started calling the creeping panties "The Peeping Thong." And as happens in the fickle fashion world, what was once a fashion faux-pas became a trend.
Introducing the Clip
Taking advantage of the trend, Pauline Aguilera of Havana Creations introduced the eye-catching "thong clip" to decorate the stray strap. "I was out one night and was sick and tired of looking at everybody's thong," says Aguilera. "I looked down at my own thong and thought, 'This is so embarrassing.'"
This lightening-bolt revelation got Aguilera thinking. "I had just created the Havana Creations accessories," she says. "The one thing I was missing was that catch." That catch, of course, was the thong clip — a fashion accessory so millennium, no one had thought of it yet.
Women can now proudly show off their "wears." But it's probably not a trend for the faint of heart. "The women who will buy and wear this product need to be confident," says Laura Eisman, founder of girlshop.com, the exclusive retail outlet where the clips are sold.
The clips, which have been available less than a month, come in several designs, from a subtle gem-studded version to an outrageous Pat Benatar-looking piece with a colored feather and sparkly beads, just in time for the resurgence of '80s fashion.
So who buys them?
"We've had a great response to it," says Eisman. "It's such a unique and fun idea, I think people are ready for that."
By all accounts, the women actually shelling out money for these urban-toys are young, trendy, city slickers — the 18-35 year-old L.A. and New York City sets. But their price makes the adornments accessible to all — the simple clip comes four in a bag for $18, the elaborate ones are $27 each.
The clips have yet to hit the mainstream, but Aguilera is designing ones for every occasion. "I think if I do ones that are more simple, people would wear them to work," she says.
Hmmm, she must not work on Wall Street.
Eisman adds, "There are more coming, gold ones, for the '70s, '80s gold thing that's happening. These are perfect for the holidays as well."
Thong clips as stocking stuffers? There's an idea. Ho, ho, ho and a merry thong clip to you.