Fetish Wear In The 1920s

These photos show the designs of Yva Richard, the foremost purveyors of fetish gear and BDSM accoutrements in France from the 1920s through to the early 1940s.

Originally founded simply as a lingerie company, the husband and wife team behind Yva Richard first branched out into erotic photography in 1923.

Nativa modelled their increasingly daring designs, while her husband L. Richard was behind her camera.

(The French maid’s costume that inspired a million Ann Summers lookalikes)

By the 1930s they stocked a range of products that wouldn’t look out of place at a modern fetish event, including handcuffs, dog collars with leads and “bizarre dominatrix ensembles made of leather, rubber, and even metal”.

Yva Richard’s one major commercial rival, Diana Slip, was also based in Paris. The only significant retailer of fetish wear and photography in the US at the time, Charles Guyette, imported many of his products from France.

(“Pony girl” scene photographed by Charles Guyette in the 1930s)

Yva Richard was forced to close up shop in 1943 due to the Nazi occupation of France, but its significant influence is clearly visible in modern day fetish fashion and photography.

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