US – New York-based label DAMES has dropped a new collection of clothes and accessories merging street style and street sense, designed to bolster women’s safety thanks to built-in self-defence features.
Founded by domestic violence and sexual assault survivor Mary Katlyn O’Malley, DAMES’s ambition goes beyond apparel, building a community empowering young women to ‘be free, to be cool and to not take any sh-t’.
To that end, the brand’s collection, Safe Space, is a modern-day armour for women, drawing on workwear staple pieces such as holographic elements or reflective fabrics to inspire a feeling of protection and confidence for the wearer. The line also carries wearable self-defence accessories in the shape of a Power Puff Knuckle spike ring with brass, a hyper-whistle, a safety alarm, and a Safety Spike Lipstick with a hidden switch blade.
‘I created DAMES so women could be safe and sexy at the same time,’ explains O’Malley, adding that ultimately, the brand’s socially charged Doom Dressing is denouncing the fact that women have accepted the feeling of being unsafe as being normal.
Like DAMES, can you turn utility into something covetable? Upgrading not-so-sexy self-defence gear into a stylish collection that protects wearers challenges expectations, and flags up very vital and key debates about gender-related violence and abuse