We love nurturing new talent in House of Harlot and so are thrilled to present...
Archean / Miss Rubber World 2011 Ready To Pass The Crown.
Archean is Miss Rubber World 2011. She’s one of the co-founders of Kink Engineering, a latex bondage device company most famous for vacbeds, and Sheetlatex.com – their affiliate latex sheeting company. She’s been working full-time in the latex industry for two years. Apart from her involvement in Kink Engineering, Archean dabbles in modeling, blogging and event organization. Her second annual all-latex event – WET – will be held in Toronto on February 19th. She’s a nerd at heart, with a master’s degree in Engineering and a not-so-secret desire to run around in a cape and tights.
SM: What is The Miss Rubber World Contest?
A: The Miss Rubber World competition is an annual event that takes place in New York City every winter (Miss Rubber World 2012 is March 24th). It’s essentially a showcase of some of the best and most up and coming talent the fetish industry has to offer. Past contestants and winners have included Jean Bardot, Jade Vixen and Dawnamatrix. There are three legs of the competition – an introduction and walk-off, where contestants aim to have the most impressive outfits, a question/answer period which allows contestants to vocalize their passion for rubber and a 5-minute “fantasy scene” which can be any number of things, but should highlight what you love most about rubber. My fantasy performance used an upright vacbed as a prop for a magic trick, and symbolized my foray into the world of latex fetishism.
A: I originally heard about the competition in 2008 when I was interning at Ego Assassin – a Toronto-based latex designer. They were designing a catsuit for Dawnamatrix (who came in 2nd that year to Jean Bardot) and one of the designers started telling me about the competition. I was definitely intrigued and very tempted by the prize pool! The original plan was to run in 2010, but I was finishing up school at the time, so I put the competition on hold until 2011. I actually started preparing for the event five months in advance, and I think I pretty much came out of left field. I didn’t know anyone involved in the competition, save Dawnamatrix who I had met a few months prior at the Montreal Fetish Weekend. I guess the hard work paid off, since I took the crown in 2011!
SM: IF you could only have three things in your purse at a time what would they be and why?
A: That’s tough because my purse is really large and tends to attract a lot of junk. I’m a fairly practical person though, so I’d say my wallet, my phone and a pair of sunglasses in the summer or a pair of gloves in the winter. At the heart of it, I’m a sucker for comfort!
SM: Before you became Miss Rubber World, what was the most exciting thing you had done?
A: I’ve been really fortunate to have traveled quite a bit in my teenage years, and I used to be really into skydiving. I’d say the most exciting thing I had done before this year would have been a particular skydive called a “rodeo” where I rode on a friend’s back during freefall, like you would ride a horse, for about 7,000 feet. I’ve since given up skydiving due to a lack of time, but have replaced it with fun and exciting things like trips to House of Gord – where I got turned into a weather vane on his roof, and tied upside-down to the front of his truck. Funny thing is, I really wouldn’t describe myself as a thrill seeker. Just an opportunist, I guess.
SM: What are the 5 most important things you would include in your things-to-do list?
A: Go to Kink In the Caribbean. Get something made out of leopard print latex. Buckle down on the business and grow Kink Engineering as much as possible. Blog more. Grow the Toronto latex community.
SM: What is your favorite breakfast?
A: Waffles! But I’m celiac, so I can’t really eat them without getting sick. (Still haven’t found a good gluten-free recipe, despite my best efforts)
SM: Is there anything that you wanted to do in your life but never actually did? If yes, what?
A: I’ve always wanted to teach English in a foreign country – Japan or Thailand are at the top of my list. Unfortunately I just can’t see myself finding the time to do it. I was planning on leaving after finishing my graduate degree, but the unexpected success of Kink Engineering kept me in Toronto working on the business full time. Ultimately I’m better off staying here – I love my job, especially the ability to work from home with my boyfriend and two cats! Hopefully I’ll get to Japan and Thailand some day, but it will likely just be as a tourist instead of a teacher.
SM: If you were to change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
A: Apart from hitting the gym all the time to get in better shape, I’m working on not getting so stressed out all the time. I take work a little too seriously and can get a bit neurotic and obsessive trying to make sure that orders get done on time!
A: Paris. No question. I fell in love with the city when I was ten. I’m fluent in french and fashion obsessed. I love the food, and the culture, and have some family in France so it wouldn’t be too difficult a transition. I also love New York City, but wouldn’t want to live in the US. I’m a Canadian snob through and through – I love my free healthcare!
SM: What do you appreciate most about being Miss Rubber World?
A: Being Miss Rubber World is what I make of it. The general guidelines were “promote the latex community”… and that was all. My take on that has been to launch a latex fashion-advice website called “The Latex Closet”, which focuses on empowering latex lovers. I’ve noticed that the typical response to latex clothing has been “I wish I could wear something like that!”. Fact is, most people can pull off latex really well… they just don’t see any examples of full-bodied models wearing latex gear. I aim to provide those examples, as well as tips on what garments work best for certain body types. I’m also working on promoting latex at my home-base in Toronto. Each year we throw a big all-latex party – this year’s party is called WET and will be a mid-winter pool party happening on February 19th (heated pools, of course!).
SM: Where do you see yourself in 15 years?
A: Still working for Kink Engineering, although in a less hands-on way. I’d like to grow the business enough to be able to travel and promote about half of the time and oversee production the other half. Right now it’s a small business, so it’s still mostly my boyfriend and I (and a few employees) doing all of the admin and production.
SM: What has been your hardest challenge to overcome either in your personal life or competing career?
A: Definitely body image issues. I’ve got broad hips and small breasts, which makes my body look off-balance. It took me a long time to realize that I’ll never have a supermodel body, or a very successful modeling career, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling beautiful or from rocking all kinds of latex outfits!
SM: What is the greatest struggle that you have overcome and how did it help you grow?
A: Finding the courage to jump all-in with the business. Having an engineering degree has given me the skills I needed to be a really diligent worker, but it was difficult to overcome the nagging sensation that if Kink Engineering didn’t work out, it would look really bad on a resume. Making the leap into the fetish business full-time felt like a future career killer, and any startup business is always a risk! Ultimately, I’m really glad that I took the leap. The more I look at what we’ve accomplished with Kink Engineering, the happier I am with my chosen career path. It really wasn’t until I went all-in with the business that we could start growing, or that I could even show my face online – which means I could have never won Miss Rubber World without making that commitment.
SM: What have you learned about most while having the Reign of Miss Rubber World?
A: It’s really easy to make a difference in the latex community, you just have to be willing to open up and find time for as many new people as possible. There’s also never been a better time to get into latex! The media is eating it up right now, with celebrities dressing in latex on a daily basis and seeing it on TV shows like American Horror story… it’s more accessible than ever. Not to mention the sheer amount of designers out there! I made a point this year of learning about as many new designers as possible so that I could be a resource to the community. Seems like there are new and amazing designers springing up every week!
SM: What will you miss most about being Miss Rubber World?
A: Being referred to as Her Rubbery Highness. I make everyone call me that. Okay, seriously? The amazing opportunities that the title has afforded me. Although I’ll always be Miss Rubber World 2011!
SM: The fetish fashion industry is a very competitive world, how do you stay competitive?
A: I’m really lucky to have carved out a niche for myself. Kink Engineering and Sheet Latex don’t have too many competitors, and have a pretty good reputation for quality and customer service… so when people want latex bondage devices, we’re one of a handful of reputable manufacturers. As for my other projects – I only model and blog for fun, so there’s very little pressure to generate income from my side projects. It’s a pretty good position to be in, which is funny because when we started we didn’t figured that having very little fashion pattern drafting experience would be detrimental to our business. In reality, it forced us to develop mostly bondage equipment, which is still a fairly niche market.
A: I don’t think that rubber will ever be mainstream. It’s quite difficult to wear, in that it doesn’t breathe and can tear easily. It also has to be hand-crafted, so it will always be expensive. What I do see as the future of latex fashion is that it will become more acceptable to wear in public (I wear my latex dresses out to vanilla clubs all the time!), and that it will be increasingly easy for latex fetishists to find girls (or boys) who are already into latex, or easily convinced to try it.
SM: Your favorite piece of latex or Rubber in your wardrobe?
A: That’s like asking me to chose my favorite child! Honestly, it depends on what I’m in the mood for. I’ve got a serious love of animal print anything, so my Collective Chaos Zebra dress is pretty high up on the list. I also love my Ego Assassin corsets and miniskirts and Kriszta’s Latex motorcycle jacket – they’re really easy to wear out to non-fetish events. But really, it all started with my transparent black Libidex catsuit. That was the first garment I ever wore, and the first thing that ever made me feel really sexy. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a special place in my heart for it!
SM: What is kink-engineering?
A: Kink Engineering is my day job! It’s a company that my boyfriend Matt and I started about four years ago. We specialize in latex vacbeds and bondage devices. Eventually Kink Engineering lead to Sheet Latex – our own brand of latex sheeting that we supply to to companies all over North America. It’s really fun to be able to work in the latex business full-time!
SM: Did you make any new years resolutions?
A: I really want to put more work into my advice site – The Latex Closet. It made a big splash in September when I released it, and then life got in the way of too many updates. If it wasn’t family stuff, it was my photographer having family issues! This year I’m going to spend more time building the site, especially since that’s what I’d like my Miss Rubber World legacy to be.
SM: Any advice or words of wisdome, inspirations thoughts to Scene Magazine Readers?
A: Don’t be afraid of jumping in to things that you’re passionate about. Not everyone will be able to make a living doing what they love, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from doing it just for the joy of it!
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