BDSM is Showing Up in High End Fashion

There was motorcycle chic of the 1950s and Madonna’s collaboration with John Paul Gaultier in the 1990s, showing how fashion has flirted with BDSM (bondage, discipline, dominance and submission) for decades. With the release of the second installment of the massively popular book-to-film franchise, Fifty Shades, (Fifty Shades Darker opens February 10, 2017) BDSM-inspired looks have invaded fashion en masse. However, just because a trend is popular with the masses, doesn’t mean it still can’t be luxe and exclusive. That’s exactly what you’ll find when you shop Zana Bayne, a luxury accessory brand infused with BDSM accents.

Zana Bayne, a self-taught designer and leather maker launched her namesake brand in 2010 as a  “post-fetish” leather goods brand with creative partner Todd Pendu. Since then, Bayne has outfitted celebrities like Madonna, Lady Gaga, and Beyoncé, as as well as fashion insiders like Taylor Tomasi-Hill, Sally Singer, and Chloë Sevingy, and herself is regularly featured in Olivier Zahm’s Purple Magazine, known for its edgy collision of fashion, sex, and nightlife.

Over the past weekend, Bayne opened her first pop-up in Los Angeles’ downtown Arts District, featuring the “Wild Rose” collection. Proving how a BDSM-inspired look is creeping into mainstream fashion, the “Not My President Harness” sold out in record time. 50 percent of the proceeds from the “Not My President Harness” went to Planned Parenthood, according to a blurb on Zana Bayne’s Instagram.

In a press statement by the designer, Bayne discusses the evolution of her brand, and how it can be seen as a barometer of changing views about sexuality, which is inherently part of fashion, and how people chose to adorn their bodies. “The brand began with a unique high-end take on S&M/punk-inspired aesthetics and harnesses.” However, the popular interest in BDSM helped grow Zana Bayne’s scope. Currently, “the brand has since expanded into a full line of handbags and collections of elegant leather works comprised of skirts, tops, bustiers, shoes, and hats as well as styles for men.

A Berlin native who settled in New York via San Francisco, Bayne, broke into the fashion scene with her blog “Garbage Dress,” where she showcased nightlife as well as pictures of herself in her signature leather harness. The fashion world took notice, and soon, Bayne was flooded with requests for the aforementioned custom harnesses. Since 2010, Zana Bayne has collaborated with Comme des Garçons, Marc Jacobs, &other Stories, and Purple Magazine.

Some highlights of the “Wild Rose” collection include a Belted Corset ($450) Rose Choker($250) and Wild Belt ($195).

(This article originally appeared on and was written by Jill Di Donato)