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Confitex Makes History As Part Of Recent NZ Fashion Week



Emerging New Zealand company Confitex made history when it hit the runway as part of New Zealand Fashion Week last year. It was the world’s first fashion show for incontinence lingerie, with the underwear making use of a patented fabric technology that is absorbent, breathable and washable. Incontinence has long been a taboo subject but it affects up to one million New Zealanders at some point, with 75% of sufferers being women.

The fashion show was purposely designed to be provocative, Confitex director Lisa Hinton admits. “We wanted to tell people that if you do have this issue, you can still feel as desirable as you once did.” The runway show certainly was provocative with the first item, a skimpy black G-string, capturing a few gasps and “wows” from the audience. The first half of the show highlighted slinky evening underwear in dark tones, with plenty of lace and suspenders. The second half showcased more daytime wear in sheer tones of silver-grey and soft pink, some with autumnal patterns. Flowing scarves and overcoats helped enhance the sensual look.

The runway show featured Confitex’s Hi-Life Collection, which is now available in 2016, designer Frantisek Riha-Scott says. A more day-to-day range is also available now. Mr Riha-Scott, who has his own fashion label Frantisek, met Confitex co-founder Mark Davey while ski coaching. Their initial idea was to design underwear for endurance athletes – who might lose their race if they stop to go to the toilet, Mr Riha-Scott says. However, while they were working on the technology, family and friends started to open up about their personal bladder leakage issues, and the lack of good products for incontinence.

Confitex is the first to use flexible textiles for incontinence, rather than plastic, Mr Riha-Scott says. “Everyone else uses plastic – that’s why it’s so utilitarian and medical looking,” he says. Each under garment has at least three layers – one that quickly pulls the moisture away from the skin, one that is highly absorbent and a waterproof layer on the outside to prevent leakages, Mr Riha-Scott says.

Confitex has partnered with New Zealand medical technology company Pharmaco, which will distribute the underwear in Australasia, and Pharmacies on both sides of the Tasman are likely to be the first retailers of the underwear, Pharmaco chief executive Chandra Selvadurai says.

For more information on Confitex and their products, please visit the website at http://www.confitex.com .