Reading is Sexy: Behind the scenes of the latest Bitch Planet Shoot

“You know what we could do? We could make a design out of the back page ads. That might be fun.”

Kelly Sue is always creating. We’d just spent a fun night talking about Bitch Planet and pitching ideas back and forth about future designs. The idea hit her as I was petting her dogs on my way out. I agreed wholeheartedly, trapped between the excitement of the idea and her adorable dogs. I thought about it on the drive back and throughout the night, until I fell asleep in my little rental airbnb bed in someone’s converted back porch. A few months later my niece would text me a picture of the back page ads from the copy of Bitch Planet she was reading.

“Aren’t these cool?”

It reinvigorated my craving to make the design.

How does Bombsheller choose designs?

It starts with “You know what we could do?” which turns into, “Would I wear that? Would YOU wear that?” and grows from there. Printing on demand allows us to do a lot that larger clothing manufacturers can’t do. One of those things is that we can cater to a fanbase of one, another is that – when the stars align – we can create, present, print and ship a design within 24 hours. Sometimes sooner. This is what we call a “TechFlex” and if you’ve been to one of our live signings, you’ve seen them at their best.

Bitch Planet is intense. It’s also gorgeous, poetic, unapologetic, inclusive, and radical. Hell, Facebook wont let us run any boosted ads that involve their designs due to the mere title of the book. #HeyKidsPatriarchy would be even more in your face; the ads that make up the design range from funny to horrifying. They’ll have you laughing, but also slap you with some cold facts about domestic violence.

Cold facts don’t historically sell clothing. We had to decide if we wanted to lean into the essence of the design, or try to make it more palatable to a larger audience. It’s a delicate balancing act when you take on a license. As a company we need to stay true to our brand, but we also want to showcase what we love about our collaborations. Ultimately we decided we loved Bitch Planet too much not to do it justice, so we leaned in, Non-Compliant as ever.

Having fun isn’t hard, when you have a library card!

Compared to our last Bitch Planet photo shoot, this was a much smaller team. Our sole model would be the amazing Camille Primous, a Primary Therapist who moonlights as a Salsa instructor. On makeup was one of our favorite makeup artists, Sheila, who modeled #Morrigan in our WicDiv shoot! We had our amazing photographer, Stephen, on camera, and myself as creative director. In post, we had Emily and Ivy working on copy and graphics to recreate some of the ads in the lookbook. Since launch, fans have asked us for high-res versions so they could print them at home. <3 One of my favorite easter eggs is that the ad for Democracy actually links to vote.org!

The set was minimal to give focus to the busier design and the piles of books that would act as costar. Camille, Stephen and myself brought books from our personal collections. Looking back, it’s fun to match the book to the person. We included some books from our artists such as Big Gal Yoga and The Little Book of Big Babes by Rachelle Abellar. We weighed every detail; do we keep the used stickers on the book bindings, or does that distract from the image? We decided it added to it, because recycling and reusing is a key element in what we do. We included a necklace gifted to us by a fan who works at Babeland (18+ warning: you can find the necklace here). The black sparkly top is a lucky thrifted find, and the amazing holographic shoes are from our friends at Wildfang. Even the sledgehammer is from our first Bitch Planet shoot, a nod to the original design that got us here. The Devil is in the details.

The team put the lookbook together in a week. After receiving approval from the Milkfed team, we launched it on December 5th. The night of the 4th, my pure excitement took a hard left into nerves. Shit. Maybe we had leaned in too deep? Maybe we would alienate fans that hadn’t read Bitch Planet? I took a deep breath, and reminded myself that the Bombsheller team loved it. The Milkfed Team loved it. Kelly Sue Deconnick and Valentine DeLandro loved it. Again, the great thing about our business model is that we can cater to a fanbase of one. If someone really liked the design, chances are they would like how we chose to show it. I trusted our team.

Luckily, our fanbase gets us, and loved the lookbook! We’ve been getting tagged in photos of happily non-compliant fans on IG since launch. Every time it’s a like a warm hug – a reminder to keep going. When you order a pair of Shells, you will it into existence. We get to make them and Kelly Sue, Valentine and Laurenn McCubbin get to design them, but because we print on demand they would not exist without your order. You are just as important in the creation process as we are.

Thank you.

Thank you for the continued support, and for allowing us to make a look book that includes comic books AND Bell Hooks.

See y’all next year! Stay Badass.


UPDATE!! Beta Program: Flat Rate International Shipping!

✨UPDATE✨

Time to hop on your holiday shopping – we’re extending flat rate international shipping for the rest of the year!

Flat rate international shipping is now $14, but we’re extending this beta test through the end of the year! Through 12/31/18, 11:59pm PST, you can continue to get flat rate shipping to the list of eligible countries at the bottom of this post!


Original post:

TL;DR: We are offering a temporary flat fee of $10 for shipping and handling to international customers in the countries listed below. This offer will be good until midnight PST 10/31/18. No code necessary!

international flat rate-01


On 10/10 we launched our new collection, The Wicked + The Divine. It’s our most successful launch to date, and the positive reactions from fans has had the team floating on cloud nine all week. One question kept coming up from fans around the globe:

“Why the hell is international shipping so expensive?”


There are a lot of answers, but the main one is because we use FedEx exclusively for international shipping. We’re a small company, and FedEx offered us the most assurance – and insurance when we started out. This month however, we’ve decided to take a chance and try our hand at offering a flat rate shipping and handling fee of $10.

Really? Only $10!?

You read that right. $10 for international shipping and handling! Please note that you may still be responsible for any additional taxes or fees imposed by your country’s laws upon import.

Will you be able to offer this long term?

Unfortunately no, probably not. At least not right now. But for the rest of this month, we want to celebrate our collaboration with The Wicked + The Divine team, and offer their fans around the globe a chance to snag some beautiful Shells for almost the same price as the fans in the USA. Plus, this gives us a chance to test this shipping method out – think of it as a pilot program in the hopes of offering better shipping options in the future for our international friends!

How are you sending international orders?

We’ll be using USPS First-Class International Service; it’s slower than Fedex, but they also offer tracking numbers.

Is every country eligible for $10 flat rate shipping?

As much as we’d like to offer $10 flat rate shipping to every country across the globe, USPS International has its own set of restrictions when it comes to shipping. Check the list below to see if your country is eligible:

Australia

Austria

Belgium

Brazil

Canada

Chile

Croatia

Cyprus

Denmark

Estonia

Finland

France

Germany

Gibraltar

Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Greece

Hong Kong

Hungary

Iceland

Israel

Italy

Japan

Latvia

Lebanon

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Malaysia

Malta

Mexico

Netherlands

New Zealand

Norway

Poland

Portugal

Russia

Saudi Arabia

Serbia, Republic of

Singapore

Slovak Republic (Slovakia)

Slovenia

Spain

Switzerland

Thailand

Turkey

Thank you to all of the fans that gave us honest feedback. We’re still growing and learning, and we’re lucky to be able to do so with the help of such a kind and kickass fan base!

Let us know what you think! Email us at badass@bombsheller.com.

Kelly Sue and the Girl Gang

“I’ve called you all here to dismantle the Patriarchy.”- Kelly Sue Deconnick

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00626

Fighting for their lives…and their freedom!

6 months ago I was sitting on the floor next to my desk, staring at our shop copy of the Bitch Planet trade and a couple pairs of our #BitchPlanet leggings. When I imagined them on people, it was on a parade of people celebrating together, tearing down the patriarchy with their bare hands. Like the comic, it was loud and in my face. The design itself is much more subtle though.  A pretty, repeating pattern that we’ve come to call “stealth nerd.” When I wear them out, I only get approached by people “in the know”. “Do you read Bitch Planet?” they whisper.  Usually, no one around us knows what we’re talking about. It feels like we’re in a secret club. It feels cool. Same with the Non-Compliant tattoos. I’ve given more than a couple of knowing nods to someone rocking a NC tattoo.  They smile, we giggle. We’re a part of something. We’re in a secret gang. As much as I like the secret club of NC leggings and tattoos, I knew I couldn’t shoot the product subtly or politely.  I wrote an email to Kelly and the MilkFed team: “My absolute DREAM shoot would be Kelly Sue amongst a group of fierce ladies looking gorgeous and tough.” I pressed send and suddenly felt very heavy. I braced myself for a gentle let down from an intern.  Almost immediately I received a simple reply from Kelly Sue Deconnick: “I’m down.”

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00569

That’s me laughing in shock as Kelly goes straight for the throat.

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00574

Babe with the power

A few months later we had assembled a girl gang. There were a lot of moving targets.  I wanted to show our product on a range of bodies, because we’re really proud we can do that, but also wanted to create an actual girl gang in spirit. With eight models, and five crew we had a team of 13 badasses coming together for this shoot. Most of them had never met each other before. A couple of them I hadn’t met in real life. I wanted everyone on this shoot to have each other’s back. I spent far too much time worrying that shooting a group of strangers would look just like that: a group of strangers.  There is an old sexist trope that women don’t work well together. That we get competitive and will try to outshine one another. That, dear reader, is a large pile of utter bullshit. While shooting, I often heard yelling behind me. I’d turn around and the models would be giving each other piggyback rides, taking selfies and practicing with the butterfly knife. We had created an actual girl gang. They weren’t pretending, they really had each other’s backs. That is one of my favorite side effects of this shoot. Now, I often see these women interacting and supporting each other online. Most of them hadn’t met until this photoshoot, but now they are regulars in each other’s lives. I wasn’t friends with most of these ladies before, but I sure as hell am now.

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00291

So.Many.Selfies.

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00054

For obvious reasons, Jess is the first model I thought of when trying to create a girl gang.

I didn’t sleep the night before the shoot. I went into work early with a coffee and packed everything, pacing around our factory and triple checking my sloppy pile of lists. Ever on time, my good friend and assistant for the day Stephen showed up with our crime van and helped load everything in. We drank more coffee. We got stuck in traffic. We finally got to the studio and started setting up. The Espionage Cosmetics team rolled in chipper and eager to get started. Our wardrobe assistant Dinah (who is also a printer at Bombsheller and had printed all of the leggings for this shoot) came in and started organizing the jewelry and weapons table. I introduced everyone as they came in. “This is Victoria, she’s a badass Librarian. This is Rodina, she was Miss Ethiopia International.” At some point I got a text that Kelly Sue Deconnick and Kit Cox had arrived. I ran upstairs to meet them. After a tour (“This is the weapons table, pick whatever you like, but please don’t stab yourself or your fellow gang members”) Kelly asked if Kit could join the shoot. I played it cool, but I was excited. That morning – while pacing – I had grabbed an extra pair of leggings, tops and shoes “just in case”. Looking back, I’m pretty sure they were always intended for Kit. She had become my main contact at Team MilkFed and I had grown to adore her quick-witted emails. I took them up to hair and makeup and  went back to shooting the madness.

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00529

In real life, Kit is the nicest person. In girl gang universe, Kit is scary as fuck.

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00039

Our amazing hair and make up team from Espionage Cosmetics. They are best described as wizards. Beautiful and talented wizards.

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00083

Dinah (on the left) was in charge of clothing, accessories, weapons, and nail wraps. Fun fact: Dinah also printed all of the leggings for the shoot!

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00403

Helping Essie with her “shark knife”

We shot for about 5 hours. Every time a new model was ready, they would descend the steep stairs to deafening cheers and admiration. Finally, everyone was dressed, done up and ready to go. The full girl gang was assembled! We were ready. The whole day had been leading up to this shoot, but we had to be out of the studio in a little over an hour. Our gang was surrounding Kelly and I was rapid fire directing them, “Ivy stand here. Essie come over on this side, oh shit you have the shark knife, okay, stay there. Victoria over on this side, Jessica kneel down by Kelly. Rodina, you’re at the top with the spiked bat…” I went back to my spot by the lights to look at it in frame.

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00602
Okay, deep breath, steady hands, lift the camera, look at your scene…

My breath caught. It was too much. For a moment, I couldn’t handle the scene before me. It was exactly what I imagined all those months ago, when I first sent that email “My absolute DREAM would be…” I felt my chest swell and half jokingly told them I needed a moment. Kelly Sue, the gravitational pull at the center of our orbit sat holding the sledgehammer in one hand and the spiked bat in the other. As I looked away she announced

“I’ve called you all here to dismantle the Patriarchy.”

And that’s all I needed. I took a deep breath and lifted my camera again. It’s not every day you get to shoot Kelly Sue and her girl gang, and if there is anything I’ve learned from being around these women that day, it’s that you don’t flinch around a gang of badass women.

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00586

Girl gangs assaulting and killing for kicks!

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00385

Girl Gang <3

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00098

This was the first time we got to work with Alexa, but it felt like we had always known her.

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00275

Going in for the kill.

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00352

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00492

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00286

A photo of a photo of a photographer capturing a photographer photographing.

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00411(2)

BombshellerXBitchPlanet_2016-1-2

Our wonderful crew from left to right: Dinah, Kit, Essie, Rodina, Alexa, Victoria, Ivy, Christal, Kelly, Jessica, and Dawn. Not pictured: Jazzlyn and Stephen

The behind the scenes photos I’ve included in this blog post were shot by Stephen Klise. Because all of our team was amazing (and because I love Instagram) I’m going to include their handles here. If you haven’t seen the Bitch Planet look book, check out the final product here. If you would like to discuss your own girl gang or send me some sweet gifs I can be reached at  jazzlyn@bombsheller.com.

Over and Out,
Jazzlyn

Shooting Action Figures

leggings, tights, photography, portrait, black

Jazzlyn Stone, reporting for duty.

Hey, Bombshells. Jazzlyn Stone here, reporting for duty. For those keeping a tally, I’m Bombsheller’s resident photographer and I’m taking over the blog to explain the photography and philosophy behind our newest Collection: Action Figure.

A couple of months ago, we noticed that a growing amount of CrossFitters were buying Shells for their workouts. We’ve put our leggings through a lot of physical tests (climbing, silks, dancing) with positive results, so we were excited to learn how they were keeping up with their intense exercise. Through friends, we were introduced to the badass Andrew Bueno, co-owner of Foundation CrossFit in Seattle. Through Andrew, we learned more about the philosophy behind CrossFit and started to see similarities between it and Bombsheller. We wanted to see our leggings in action, so Andrew invited us to watch the Versus VI competition at his gym.

A week later, I found myself descending a delivery driveway into a swarm of buzzing athletes, as Andrew marched between them with a megaphone and a stopwatch, leading the pack. We spotted some of our designs amongst the crowd and were pleased to learn they were keeping up with the grueling workouts. No rolling, not too tight, and they flaunted the muscles these athletes were so proud of. We left knowing we wanted to recreate the energy of the competition in a look book.

I spent the next two months studying and shooting CrossFitters. Working with the talented athletes for our look book (Kristina Lum and Sheena Camagong), I was able to create a lighting design that would best illuminate their muscles but still give them the freedom and range to lift, throw and jump. A couple of examples are highlighted below. (TL;DR, grids and beauty dishes galore!)

Bombsheller_2015-5

Kristina showing us how to climb a rope UPSIDE DOWN in #EverydayMayhem.

LightingDiagram-1

Both strips have grids, the light to the left of the camera is on a kicker, the beauty dish is on boom.
ISO 200
Aperture: F/14
Shutter: 1/200
Focal length: 31mm

 

Bombsheller_2015-1-4

Sheena kipping in #hypertrophy.

LightingDiagram-2

Again, both strip lights have grids, the camera to the left is on a kicker, and the beauty dish is on a boom.
ISO 200
Aperture: F/16
Shutter: 1/200
Focal length: 24mm

My favorite part about our product is seeing what people do with it. Our Shells are beautiful, but they aren’t complete until you put them on and make them move with you. We never would have been introduced to so many amazing athletes if it weren’t for our fans! So keep tagging us in your IG photos, keep reaching out to us with your new favorite place to wear your shells. I love seeing the lives our leggings get to lead out there with you.

Over and Out,
Jazzlyn

Behind the Scenes: CrossFit Photo Shoot

Our new collection is live today! For the last few months we’ve been hanging with rad athletes and curating designs that will reflect their superhuman capabilities. Our friends in the CrossFit community led us to Sheena Camagong and Kristina Lum, two women who show us the definition of Action Figure, and the incredibly photogenic gym on 5th Ave, CrossFit Felix. Here is a peek into the weekend of photography that led to the beautiful shots we got for our most muscular lookbook to date.

teamaction

The team deliberates.

 

IMG_3342

Jazz assumes the sauciest poses to shoot.

 

Bombsheller_2015-7

The models helped us move equipment around because they’re way stronger than us. #CanYourModelSquatThat?

 

IMG_3350

Dreaming of the next personal record.

 

Bombsheller_2015-1

Sheena’s so fly, someone else brushes her shoulders off for her.

 

IMG_3320

Action shot. Butterflies in motion.

 

IMG_3352

REACH.

 

Bombsheller_2015-3

Spotlight on excellence.

 

Bombsheller_2015-4

Cybele attends to the stars of the show.

 

IMG_3377

Kristina does up, up, up! Jazz gets down, down, down.

 

Bombsheller_2015-2

Andrew, of Foundation CrossFit, got in on the action. Today we learned you can climb a rope upside down.

Bombsheller_2015-5

Bottoms up! Hard work is fun!

IMG_3392

That’s a wrap! Team photo/video/lighting still love each other at the end of the day. That’s how you KNOW it was a good shoot.

Bonus reel: between video takes, Evan got in a few workouts himself.

So Fierce: Our Latest Fit Party

Continuing our mission to extend and perfect our size range, we held a fitting party earlier this week and filled the Bombshelter with gorgeous leggings-wearing people! Measurements were taken, data was gathered, and fun was had by all. We are incredibly grateful to our guests for being so generous with their time and feedback.

The data we collected is essential as we work to offer more sizes that are fit to flaunt. This is a work in progress that we couldn’t do without help from our friends and supporters. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

As always, our resident photographer, Jazzlyn, was on hand to chronicle the fabulousness.

 

Bombsheller_ 2014-9 Bombsheller_ 2014-5 Bombsheller_ 2014-4 Bombsheller_ 2014-6 Bombsheller_ 2014-7 Bombsheller_ 2014-11 Bombsheller_ 2014-12 Bombsheller_ 2014-13 Bombsheller_ 2014-14 Bombsheller_ 2014-15 Bombsheller_ 2014-16 Bombsheller_ 2014-18 Bombsheller_ 2014-17 Bombsheller_ 2014-19 Bombsheller_ 2014-21 Bombsheller_ 2014-20 Bombsheller_ 2014-23 Bombsheller_ 2014-25 Bombsheller_ 2014-27 Bombsheller_ 2014-28 Bombsheller_ 2014-30 Bombsheller_ 2014-31 Bombsheller_ 2014-32 Bombsheller_ 2014-37 Bombsheller_ 2014-34