"About binders, T-Kingdom and myself"
By Winson Lo
President and founder, T-Kingdom
Hi, my name is Winson Lo and I am the founder
of T-Kingdom (that's me on the right). I would like to take
this chance to write a little bit about binders, why I make
them and perhaps a bit about myself.
Binders are designed to bind your breasts. In
the 16th century, women wore corsets to shrink their body,
in order to look slimmer, and to be more attractive to men.
Nowadays, people use binders to flatten their breasts, but
for another purpose - to show the self-awareness of their
People bind their breasts for different needs,
some for good looks, some for gender identification, and some
for sense of security. They are Lesbians, FTM and people who
suffer from the discomfort of big breasts. Sometimes, even
people attending a masquerade will use a binder.
In the past, people used all sorts of ways and
materials to bind their breasts. One such techniques is winding
elastic bands around the body, but the bad thing is that the
bands easily come loose as the person is moving, and of course,
if the bands fall down, it can be really embarrassing. Besides,
you can't wear thin clothes in the summer otherwise people
will notice weird shapes under your clothes or even see the
bands. And because of the material the bands are made of,
sweat doesn't evaporate easily. This causes the bands to stink
after a while, even if you wash them everyday, and if you
use a public laundry place the bands might attract attention.
Another technique is even worse - "the
belly binder", it's really heavy, tight, uncomfortable,
and can slip down easily. To avoid this, some people use sticky
tape to secure it over the chest. This leads to strange plastic
smells and it of course hurts a lot when you tear it off.
The people using these belly binders are not only tolerating
all these pains, but also the risk of embarrassment if other
people will see what they are wearing.
So, how did I come up with the idea of producing
binders? The greatest motivation is my own need.
Me & T-Kingdom ...
I have liked gender neutral dressing styles
since I was young. Until I was about junior high school age,
I knew about lesbians, and then I realized that "I am
a lesbian myself". At that time I adjusted very well
to my new gender identification, and I thought it's a very
natural thing to me, because that's the real me! But my parents
didn't take my coming out of the closet so easy. They thought
I were influenced by some bad guys and tried to stop me and
change my dressing. But they didn't understand that dressing
style cannot change the inner gender tendency, the appearance
is only the reflection of one's appreciation of beauty. Fortunately,
after many conversations, and my "good performance",
my parents eventually accepted my lesbianism, and supported
my "binder production" career very much. They often
give me their opinions on my business, and recommend my products
to their friends who needed it. They are really amazing parents,
I started wearing binders when I was in high
school. Like most did at that time, I used flexible bands
that winding tight around my breasts. Some of my friends were
using sticky tape or "belly binder". These were
all extremely uncomfortable and inconvenient methods. So we
came up with the idea of "how wonderful it would be if
we had some clothes that could bind our breasts".
My "binder" business originated together
with a friend who had started the clothes design business
several years earlier than me. Before that I had been working
with my father in his bakery. Because of my own need for a
binder and since I wanted to share this better technique with
all my friends, so I decided to work with her. In the beginning
I was in charge of frontline sales, and she was responsible
for production. But we fought a lot around the problem of
supply shortage. To avoid the shortage and fight, I went to
study "how to make and design clothes" at the Employment
and Vocational Training Administration. After I got their
Diploma, I started to make and design clothes. Since then
I have put all my efforts into my binder-business and have
been enjoying it so much. The first partnership lasted for
4 years, but we decided to part since we couldn't agree on
how to run the business.
T-Kingdom was founded in 1998 with only the
3 models we had "inherited" from the old partnership.
By now we have added another 8 models to cater to different
needs and body shapes. In 1999, we broke the conservative
way and started selling our products via the Internet since
we wanted to reach International markets. It was very exciting
to start seeing orders coming in from all over the world.
Every day is a learning experience - "Hey, where is Belize?"
or "how do we ship 200 pieces to Sweden in the cheapest
Together with some friends, we established "Republic
of Castro", a Chinese language community website for
lesbians and gays. T-Kingdom was one of products provided
by Castro, together with financial services, gift cards etc.
With about 30% sales growths, T-Kingdom meets more people's
needs. Starting from early 2003, together with Enspyre's marketing
support (www.enspyre.com); we're exploring oversea markets
more proactively, in order to serve more people across different
Where we are going ...
These days, T-Kingdom is not only providing
Taiwanese lesbians and FTMs a comfortable and convenient binding
bra, but we are also researching on ergonomic products, and
come up with more designs for more needs.
Being in need of binders myself as well as loving what I do,
I am always thinking about how to design comfortable, useful
and pretty clothes. T-Kingdom will keep on improving to make
more and more user-friendly products.
Some friends with big breasts kept asking me
how to make breasts look totally flat. The fact is that using
a binder is not like having a surgery which can take your
breasts away overnight. If it could, how terrible wouldn't
that be? So if you have big breasts, you have to be more patient,
flatten your breasts gradually with the binder and do some
exercise to make it sturdy. We don't suggest you to wear a
binder that's too tight and makes you feel uncomfortable.
While running T-Kingdom, the greatest reward
is to get to know many friends from a variety of occupations
and places. With their precious ideas T-Kingdom grows better
and stronger, since as we really need a great binder!
Take care everybody!
Office hours: Monday
- Friday (09:00a.m. to 6:00p.m. Taiwan time)
2F., No.460, Jhonghe Rd., Jhonghe City, Taipei County 235,