‘Girl, you must be a parking ticket because you’ve got fine feline written all over you.’ Sorry, just preparing myself for the sort of pickup lines I might hear the next time I’m visiting Japan. In a country that created a Google Street View for cats, you shouldn’t really be surprised to learn that one of the hottest selling items among women involves felines. What you may not have expected, however, is that this product doesn’t involve cat cafes or kitty hotels. Rather, the purring is over some of the sexy cat-themed lingerie for sale at one of Japan’s online boutiques.
Felissimo is the company responsible for these underwear ensembles that are flying off the shelves in Japan. The business began as a mail order catalog, but has developed into a major player in online shopping in the nation. While the intimate apparel, Flufeel, is the most popular brand owned by the company, it is just one part of the larger Nekobu (Cat Club) line. The underwear is the newest addition to the line and designers are already working on introducing new ‘breeds’ to better cater to the desires of both men and women.
On the surface, the Japanese underwear looks like a regular pair of bra and panties. What gives it a distinctive touch is the subtle texture around the seams, which is designed to resemble cat fur. Currently, the most popular styles are black cat, Tabby, and Siamese. In addition to the fur texture, the most noticeable aspects of the lingerie are the cat tail that ties to the back of the underwear and the included set of cat ears. The tails tie onto the underwear with silk and match the bows decorating the intimate apparel. The Tabby set even comes with its own choker that resembles a collar.
For those women interested in exporting this weird Japanese fashion trend to other countries, a set of cat-themed lingerie will cost you around $30. They come in a range of sizes and represent over twelve different cat species. Me-ow.