A sleepwear company has announced that the red version of its popular lingerie line has been given the name “Offred”. Because when I think of a romantic evening at home, I picture government-sanctioned sexual slavery.
Lunya’s new “washable silk set” in red, a colour it named Offred after the lead character in The Handmaid’s Tale. Image: Lunya
In a promotional email, Lunya announced that the latest colour for its “washable silk set” is named after Offred from The Handmaid’s Tale, a character played by Elisabeth Moss, who was kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery so she could produce a child for Fred and Serena Joy Waterford, played by Joseph Fiennes and Yvonne Strahovski.
Like the model pictured above, Offred too dons red – not to feel sexy, but because she’s a Handmaid who serves the Republic of Gilead and needs to be easily identified as property.
It’s disconcerting, to say the least, equating women’s lingerie with a show about subjugation and rape. When we asked whether Lunya thought it was acceptable to name some of its sleepwear after Offred, given the horrors her character has been through (and will likely continue to endure into the second season), the company told us they did it to honour her.
“We’re big fans of the show here at Lunya and named the colour after Elisabeth Moss’s journey as ‘Offred’,” a spokesperson told us. “We’re with the resistance!”
It should be noted, Offred is not the character’s real name but one given to her by Gilead as another form of ownership (Offred = “of Fred”). Her name is actually June.
As of today, the Offred colour of Lunya’s washable silk set isn’t yet available on the website, but it does not ship to Australia. The Handmaid’s Tale returns with its second season April 26 on SBS, and the company says it’s planning a watch party on April 26 at its Santa Monica headquarters.