The National Rifle Association does not particularly elicit visions of fashion, unless that “fashion” consists of camouflage or Dana Loesch’s unyielding dedication to leather bodycon. And yet, at the NRA’s annual meeting in Indianapolis this weekend, there was in fact a fashion show. Not just any fashion show, mind you, but an exhibition of outfits designed to conceal weapons, because nothing says “couture” like stashing a handgun in your thigh holster shorts.
Indeed, on the same weekend an alleged white supremacist shot four people at a synagogue in San Diego, designers showcased their concealed-carry creations. According to local news station CBS 4, the show was primarily geared toward women, many of whom are apparently clamoring to hide secret guns in their sweaters (but make it sexy!).
One such designer was Dawn Hillyer, whose company Hiding Hilda makes handbags with secret slots for handguns. Hillyer started carrying a gun after a run-in with a stalker, which is sort of ironic. “It’s very uncomfortable when you first start concealing,” she told CBS 4. “You feel like everybody knows you have a firearm.”
In addition to the secret gun handbags, there were secret gun jeans, secret gun jackets, secret gun yoga leggings, and secret thigh holster shorts, for women who’ve presumably dreamed of pulling an Angelina Jolie in one of the many Angelina Jolie spy films I’ve never seen:
All 50 states have laws regulating concealed carry permits, though some states make it more difficult to obtain those permits than others. And legislators are working to make it easier for those with concealed carry permits to carry those weapons across state lines—they’ve been shopping the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2019 to Congress, which would basically make states recognize concealed carry permits the same way as they recognize drivers licenses.
For now, the secret gun underwear only gets its chance on the catwalk once a year. But if that act passes, in the future, perhaps “carrywear,” as the designers call it, will be as ubiquitous as New York Fashion Weeks. Thoughts and prayers to the harried interns forced to ask Clint Eastwood not to cross his legs in the front row.