LECHERY is carving its niche in the market, with the clothing brand that prides itself on diversity and its eco-consciousnesses starting to really expand its empire.
The company, which counts supermodel Bella Hadid amongst its customers, has grown from humble beginnings, initially starting out as just a fashion blog from founder Vyra Scher. Not only is she a successful businesswoman, but Vyra is also an asylum seeker, having left for the United States due to sexual abuse and the inability to live her true life as a transgender woman.
WATCH: LECHERY's promotional video
Vyra explains to HELLO! that she arrived with just $1,200 in her pocket, with the majority of that going on rent, but that she was able to sustain herself with a nine-to-five job in a showroom.
Like many, she lost her job during the pandemic, but this "bubble burst" helped motivate her to take the first step in founding LECHERY. The brand initially focused on hosiery, tapping into some lived experiences from Vyra's own life.
"Hosiery was the first category that I decided to focus on, because it traces back to an experience of when I was younger," she revealed. "Throughout the course of my childhood, I was sexually abused by the men in my family, but the one that was most impactful for me was being sexually assaulted by a stranger, who started by running his hand up my legs when I was 17 years old."
She added: "At that very moment, I felt this sense of powerlessness and ultra-vulnerability. And I wished I had some protection, some armor against what was happening."
Vyra wants everyone to feel "sexy" no matter their income
Vyra then began incorporating tights into her daily fashion, although privately to avoid violent reactions from her family, noting that the clothing made sure she "never felt so bare or unprotected" again.
LECHERY now focuses on a lot more than just hosiery, with the brand recently launching its range of gloves, and Vyra revealed that the brand will soon be branching out to include accessories and jewelry, alongside expanding its base of operations. Currently, the company is geared towards US customers, but there are plans to branch out to Canada and the United Kingdom, with talks to be stocked in Selfridges and Harrods.
But even though it is being stocked by major retailers with celebrity clientele, Vyra still strives for every product to be affordable for the average customer, and for the brand to carry an important eco-message.
She shared that an estimated 100 million kilograms of hosiery end up in landfills every year, causing her to focus on products that had longevity. To achieve this, they undergo a special production method in Italy "where two separate yarns are wrapped around a central yarn, ensuring that silkiness feeling that a lot of customers want but also ensuring the perfect stretch, fit and durability".
Polka Dot Tights, $25.99, Nordstrom
Any yarn that has been left over from the process is then used again for their upcycled line.
But Vyra's story doesn't just stop at fashion, as she is a proud trans woman. Speaking about her experiences in the United States, she shared: "I was able to create a life where I wouldn't have to find my true authentic self, I was able to legally change my name, and my gender and legal documents, which I couldn't do back home. It was a watershed moment in my life when that happened."
But knowing this wouldn't be the same experience for everyone, she added: "I live in New York, which is a much more accepting place compared to other places in the United States. I've never had to worry about someone calling the police because I went to a woman's restroom or worry about getting beat up on the street just because of who I am."
She also called on the government to improve healthcare for transgender people as well as bring in federal protections, highlighting statistics that found one in four transgender people had lost a job because of their trans identity.
Fishnet Knee High Socks, $29.99, Nordstrom
She continued: "I really want to give the message that I'm a trans woman in business, and I'm going to do what it takes to really change the perception society has on trans people, I need to help break down the pre-notions of trans people being anything other than normal, contributing members of society. The more we highlight the success and contributions trans people make, the less bigotry people will face.
"And I also want to add that like everyone else, trans people have the right to protect themselves. If you're in the situation where you're being mistreated or abused, you have the right to leave, you have the right to do what's best for yourself. I truly believe everyone deserves safety."
Eco Herringbone Tights, $53.00, Nordstrom
This week is Trans Awareness Week, which will culminate on Sunday with Trans Day of Remembrance, which remembers transgender and gender-nonconforming people who have lost their lives due to violence.
Sharing a message for her community, Vyra concluded: "There are always people who would discriminate against you and that you can't satisfy everyone, you can't make everyone happy but you should always listen to your gut, you should always listen to what you feel and if what you feel is right, you should follow it.
"Whether that's you having to transition, whether that's you wanting to pursue a job that you think only white men can pursue, just do it, pursue what you want to do pursue your dreams."
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