Body Talk: Tylynn Nguyen

Interview by Melissa Kenny
Photography by Renee Carey

We caught up with the the California-based designer and former model to talk sexiness, how self love should precede all other forms, and yes, underwear.

If TyLynn Nguyen’s lingerie were a song, it might be Donna Summer’s I Feel Love. Trim on prose, the song contains just sixteen unique words across its chorus and seven verses. Yet ripe with feeling, those few simple utterances are so compatible with DJ, Giorgio Moroder’s decadent modulations.

Similarly, TyLynn Nguyen blends quiet minimalism with utmost indulgence. You know, the dichotomy of it all. But it be known: Any historical instance of underwear pantomiming a richly-adorned wedding cake will not be advanced by her. “I am not a doll. I am a woman,” she says. Instead, TyLynn works with superlative foundations — French lace, Italian silk — to create fluid, flattering slip dresses, bodysuits and lingerie that leaves space for each wearer to craft her own fantasy.

How would you define sexiness?

Sexiness is the awareness of the power you have been given at birth. The very nature of a human being is being sexual. Confidence, loving yourself, understanding your mind, feeding your soul (spirituality, reading, traveling, etc.) These things are sexy. 

Why did you foray into lingerie? What do you hope to communicate?

I wanted more sophisticated lingerie. Things that were not so frilly and doll-like. I am not a doll. I am a woman. My fantasy is just as important as my husbands. Lingerie felt so geared towards only a man’s sexuality. What if a woman is making love to a woman? 

What is the role of lingerie, if any?

Lingerie is very important to me. Wearing it, choosing it, possibly wearing a slip out to dinner or a camisole under my blazer; each moment is my choice. It's a layer of who I am. I love what lingerie says about a woman. My lingerie is the things I have lived, it's the sexuality I enjoy, it's the quiet moments by myself. My lingerie is multifarious. 

You once said that “wearing underwear is a statement for yourself; it’s learning to quietly love all that you are.” Do you remember the first underwear item or set you ever owned?

Yes. I remember. And I will always say that.  I've always believed that the first person you should love before anyone else is yourself. You will argue less. You will blame less. You will understand more. When you love yourself, you are more connected to God. I have a saying: Amour de soi, meaning the love of self regardless of other people's feelings or perceptions of you. Start on the inside and work your way out. You will shine brighter than ever before. That means your lingerie too. 

I have always been quite sure of what I wanted to wear. It's easy — new or vintage pieces that suit my 6-foot frame. The first lingerie set I owned was a luxurious black cotton bra and panties my mom picked up for me. It was my favourite. I coveted it. I felt like a queen in this set. It was the feeling of matching. It was the quality. It was my secret to myself.

Did your experience of being a model impact on your sense of self love?

For sure. It taught me that some people will find flaws in me to make themselves feel better. That my flaws make me beautiful. That my heart and mind shine brighter than my looks. It taught me to reinvigorate my love of lingerie. And it introduced me to some of the most amazing people. I am grateful for my time modeling. 

Evidence suggests that masturbation is good for all sorts of things. Stress relief, overall connectedness to the body, even digestion — all said to be by-products of neurochemical release. What else is good about masturbation?

It helps you to learn yourself so that your lover can love you the best. Sex is so important in loving relationships. It isn't a bad thing. It is how you stay connected to the universe. How you open your chakras. How you experience bliss. I believe love-making can open your mind to forgiveness if your partner is on a self-discovery process as well. But to get to that point with your partner knowing and loving yourself comes (literally and figuratively) first. 

Has having children changed or enhanced your relationship with your own body? How?

I know myself better. I pushed two human beings out of my body. I am proud of that. I am proud of the strength I have and how much joy I find in being a mother. I am definitely more in love with my husband. 

You’re American, your husband’s background is Vietnamese while your own cultural heritage blends African and Caucasian. How do the various aspects of your identity relate to your sense of self love?

My parents never stressed race in our home. They stressed my intellectual abilities and my heart. It wasn't until I started dating and a boyfriend's mother commented on me being black that I realised there was an ignorance in people's minds. I believe I have best of all of the races I am (which is more than five). I recently found out I am also Ukrainian and it empowered me. My children are literally world babies. How powerful. I aim to relate to as many people as I can. I was gifted with a beautiful variety of skin tones and heritage. And therefore my races and my husband’s race only make me feel more connected to the true beauty of what culture means. tylynn nguyen by rene carey for par femmeThe three sexiest people in the world?

1. My husband – he's my best friend and we are all things to each other. 

2. Prince - he is in heaven but he blurred the lines of sexuality. I always wonder why gender roles are as they are and if people had a true opportunity would more men wear dresses? Gay men be more open to dating women? All people just loving openly? Prince pushed the boundaries. 

I can only think of two. Sorry. 

Particular humans aside, what else do you consider to be sexy?

Intellect. I love to learn and listen. I want to know as much as I can. If you can teach me things, I am attracted. Main reason I fell I love with my husband. He is so smart and when he speaks, people listen. I listen. It's sexy. 

Where will TyLynn Nguyen the brand be going next?

We will grow. We will be in more places our customers can get to the product and put it on and buy it and covet it and enjoy it. We will change the idea of what lingerie is imagined to be. It is an exciting journey.

 View the full story of Tylynn in Los Angeles, shot by Rene Carey here.


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