Archive for the Academic Research Category

7 Cities in 7 Days

Posted in Academic Research, London, Switzerland, Telecommunications, Uncategorized, United Kingdom, Virgin, Wearables with tags , , , , , on November 18, 2016 by harlette



A few weeks ago  I woke up to a rainy Lake Geneva. Amazing experience to have the opportunity to observe a United Nations International Telecommunications Union meeting on one of my favourite topics space.

As well as designing swimwear and lingerie have commenced a PhD and designing a new out of this world project combining fashion & technology that is a little secret squirrel more soon.

Travelling from a university in London to a university in Manchester at the other side of the country and back to London all in the same day was an awfully big adventure.

You can see the seven cities in seven days photo’s on Harlette Swimwear new flickr site and you will also spot beaches in Australia like Shelly Beach, a personal favourite and the spectacular Surfers Paradise with the symphony of high rises.

Where, when I touched down in LAX, discovered I left my voice on a virgin train. Sunrise in London Hyde Park with swans & squirrels to finish the day watching  the sunset over Santa Monica beach before meeting with the director of my 4K TV project IT Girl Lingerie to discuss the project, story and new things in Geneva & UK.

Executive Producers that are interested in assisting this project are most welcome to reach out.


Final touch down in Sydney to start new swimwear collection and this new one is going to be really fun to frolic in and on. Of course what a shock was Leonard Cohen, I heard his new song Leaving the Table as I was in a good old trusted black cab outside Buckingham Palace on the way to the university. With the benefit of hindsight its a little prophetic this song.

I was listening to his new album You Want it Darker the whole week, while glued to Bloomberg for US Election updates & the markets reaction and then suddenly the news that he passed away, on remembrance day at 82 after he saw the new President elect Donald Trump come to power. The night before I saw the Opera House covered in poppies and the video is available at Harlette Swimwear new flickr site

Donald Trump no doubt he is 100% #teambikini & excited that Red is the colour of 2017. Having worked with Miss Universes in our shoots & catwalks Harlette Swimwear are excited at seeing Donald work to make America great again.

Exciting times ahead for the whole world and infinitely more exciting with a bikini or two.








Guest Blogger : Abeer Maktabi CSM Student Creates her Bravolution with a focus on Middle East Women & Charity

Posted in Academic Research, Charity, Lingerie, London, Middle East, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Underwear, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Womens Empowerment with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2013 by harlette

© Tom Dymond..Stacey Dix - Exhibition ULA/CSM Kings Cross© Tom Dymond...

Late last year we were contacted by this weeks inspired Guest Blogger Abeer Maktabi. Abeer a fabulous CSM (Central St Martin’s) fashion student interviewed Harlette as part of her bravolution dissertation.

We followed up with her a few weeks ago to check how her project was progressing and invited her to be this weeks Guest Blogger.

Abeer had contacted Reem Asaad in 2012 in Saudi Arabia to discuss her dissertation and Reem suggested that Abeer discuss with the project with Harlette.  Abeer and Harlette discussed the project via Skype, and part of the interview was included in the CSM project.

We are excited to share Abeer’s inspiration and vision as its focus is on the Middle East, Women and Charity.

CSM Thesis Project  : BRAVOLUTION


BRAVOLUTION (Bra+Revolution) is a social enterprise project, which uses the bra to support women victimised by sexual harassment and domestic violence in the Middle East. The bra is a garment that categorises the female gender as a woman and a tool that supports a woman’s body, which BRAVOLUTION aims to use metaphorically to support their human rights.


Bravolution brings awareness, women solidarity and a platform for feminist activism. It uses the elite and the educated category of people to bring help to NGOs and women’s organisations. A collection of bra is exclusively designed for purchase as a sign of support for BRAVOLUTION in order to raise profit and share it with the organisations in the Middle East.


By doing this strategy, financial support will be given to lobbyists and policy-makers to work on changing the laws and on raising awareness. Through this bra, I am bringing out a new, stronger and more confidant woman.

This project is based on the creative process, rather than the shiny object.


BRAVOLUTION© from Abeer Maktabi on Vimeo.


The direct link to the video is here

The details of her project can also be found here


Guest Blogger: Rachael Job has done her research into lingerie in Saudi Arabia

Posted in Academic Research, Lingerie, Saudi Arabia, Underwear, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom with tags , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2013 by harlette

Rachael JobRecently we were contacted by a British University student Rachael Job, to be interviewed as part of  work for her dissertation. It caught our attention as it was on a topic very dear to our heart Reem Asaad and lingerie in Saudi Arabia.

We have invited Rachael to be this weeks Guest Blogger. Enjoy.

Guest Blogger Rachael Job has done her research into lingerie in Saudi Arabia

Rachael Job travelled to the UAE in the summer of 2012 and she noticed that there were only women working in the lingerie stores. She decided to find out more.

Reem Asaad, a financial advisor in Saudi Arabia, began a lingerie campaign against men working in lingerie stores in Saudi in 2008.  Hundreds of women were either choosing to not buy new underwear or were leaving stores in the kingdom red in the face with embarrassment. Men had to pick out underwear for the women in the stores and many women in the kingdom were extremely uncomfortable with this. Saudi Arabia is a gender segregated kingdom meaning that men and women rarely ever come face to face, except for in lingerie stores, which seemed ridiculous to Reem.


Reem Asaad creator of the KSA Lingerie Campaign

Thousands of women joined Reem in her campaign; in 2009 Harlette came to Saudi and spent 10 days training women in selling underwear. In 2011 King Abdullah announced that a royal decree would be put in place banning men from working in all lingerie stores. This later also applied to cosmetic stores.


Women now work in the lingerie stores and this has changed the face of lingerie in the Kingdom. Women are now more economically stable, they are more personal and they have independence. Also lingerie has boomed in terms of sales which show more women are happy to buy underwear in the Kingdom than ever before.

Extract of Dissertation

Rachael has kindly shared a key component her interview with Reem Asaad from her dissertation with us please enjoy.


Interview with Reem Asaad

The three year lingerie campaign for Reem was not just about male sales assistants, or women feeling awkward when purchasing items but it is about women being the reason behind legislation, “It is not just about one key change, it is about women being at the forefront of policy, women travelling to work every day, having medical care for the first time in their lives and daring to dream of retirement benefits.”  All Saudi and expatriate workers in Saudi Arabia are set tax free salaries with free healthcare and retirement benefits.

The esteemed Arabian Business Power list 500 2012 ranked Reem in third place, she is the first ever woman to be ranked in the top ten. “We chose Reem because the issue of female employment in Saudi Arabia is one of the most pressing problems that the country faces at the moment,” said Edward Attwood, the Editor at Arabian Business. Attwood also commented on how Reem’s campaign should entice Saudi to allow more women to work in the private sector, “If Saudi Arabia is to truly recognise its economic potential, and diversify itself away from oil; it really needs to create meaningful jobs for women in the private sector. So while the casual observer might assume that allowing women to work in lingerie stores isn’t that big a deal, it’s actually very significant in Saudi terms.”

Despite the success, Reem has a new campaign already underway, “My next goal is to make the workplace a better place for working women. It seems small but it is huge in Saudi,” Reem says. Legislation is in place that private sector companies should provide childcare facilities for working mothers but like the lingerie store legislation, it is simply not enforced at government level. Reem is currently campaigning to make private sector companies abide by the law and provide childcare facilities. “The approach that I take is that I target unimplemented laws and regulations. Every organisation that employs a certain amount of women (1-50) must have some kind of day-care facility but 95 per cent of them don’t abide by that rule because women didn’t (used to) work in mixed private sector organisations but now they do,” says Reem.

In Saudi Arabia, where gender segregation is firmly enforced and women need permission from a close male such as their husband or father to work and travel, employment had traditionally been seen as an all-male preserve but King Abdullah, known for his modest social reform, is now pushing for women to enter the workforce in Saudi.

“My next fight will be for women to be allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. Every bit of difference I make to women’s rights will enhance their position economically and socially,” says Reem.

Throughout the campaign Reem had specified that she is not against men, “I am not trying to attack these men working in the stores, there are many good things and solid values that characterize Saudi society, but it goes against Saudi life to have a man selling a woman a personal and intimate item that should only be seen by her husband,” says Reem.

Here is what Rachael had to say about Harlette’s assistance to the KSA Lingerie Campaign.

Harlette lingerie, an exclusive couture lingerie range based in London and Sydney, approached Reem and asked if she would like assistance with her campaign as Harlette has experience in international speaking/ training. “It was clear that women needed training and support prior to entering the stores for the campaign to be a success,” said Harlette. Harlette came to Saudi in 2009 and conducted 10 days of training for the women in Jeddah.  “The teaching was a true gift, to meet so many amazing women all with one purpose to learn something new, to gain employment and the laughter that we shared along the journey was great.” Harlette visited lingerie ranges, undertook lectures and trained women one on one whilst in Saudi and they say they were thrilled to hear that the royal decree was passed in 2011. “What was amazing was that everyone let go of their fears and people were able to measure by the end of the first day, it was an experience that I will treasure,” says Harlette.

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