Summer is approaching, and you know what THAT means: It’s time to squeeze your ass into some ill-fitting spandex and stand in front of a dressing room mirror while hostile and flickering lights shine down upon your most delicate imperfections.
But according to swimwear designer, photographer and artist, Joel—The Kind of Tape—Alvarez, not everyone fears the fluorescent reaper. In fact, some are even willing to trade-in their designer beachwear for a few shreds of sparkly duct tape.
Alvarez says he came up with the idea in 2008, when one of the models he was photographing suggested he use electrical tape instead of clothing. By 2012, he was taping-up models all over Miami, which soon evolved into what he calls the “Black Tape Project.”
After sharing this 15 second video of the former Miss Puerto Rico, wearing gold tape in a tropical setting, Alvarez claims his Facebook page blew up.
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I'm sure you guys have seen this video all over the web. I took this video Feb of 2017 and posted it up with no idea it would go viral. After 10million views on my Facebook and countless shares on Instagram this project introduced the gold tape edition of the blacktapeproject with former Miss Puerto Rico. This was shot in the beaches of Haiti for the JBFoundation charity event which inspired me to start my own charity for the children of mango hall in Jamaica. This 17sec video basically jump started my career and opened so many doors for me. Countless features, articles and interviews from news outlets around the world. . . Now over a year later I have perfected the gold tape and will be showing 10 one of kind peices at this year's @miamiswimweek at the @artheartsfashion at the @faenaforum July 15th at 10pm. This is a very unique show as I will be a headlining designer show designs that will be completed just minute prior to the show. No pre planning or already made peices. This is art and couture at its highest level. . . DM ME if you would like to attend or walk my shows , set up an appointment for a fitting and shoot or just come and show some love. Very excited to be a part of this year's swim week as a designer. This will be my biggest and most impressive show to date. . . Big thank you to @artheartsfashion @erikrosete for inviting me and giving me another great opportunity. . . #miamiswimweek @miamibeach #miami #sountbeach #miamifashion #swimlife #treats #treatsmagazine #vogue #teenvogue #couture #nyfw #miamiswimweek2018 #faenaforum #livmiami #storymiami #rockwellmiami #blacktapeproject #blacktape #tapeart #missuniverse #misspuertorico #jbfoundation #mangohallcharity
“Within 3 days it had over 7 million views along with over 50k shares worldwide,” he said. “My emails, DM’s and phone blew up with requests for TV & radio interviews, articles in national news outlets as well as magazines.”
Today, Alvarez has upped his website to include a wide array of iridescent tape colors, including unicorn, mermaid, dragon, metallic red, gold and platinum.
There’s only one problem: unless you are a model, decorated by an actual artist who can filter an Instagram photo to perfection, cut and paste swimwear makes zero sense.
First of all, it’s fucking tape and we all know what happens when that shit gets wet: it peels and falls off—but what if it doesn’t? What if the tape is SO strong that it won’t come off? Imagine a full body Brazilian, minus the wax. Uhhh…no thanks.
Second, there’s a small issue in regard to price. I mean, why would you spend $29.99 for ten yards of unicorn tape when you can pick up the same amount of printed duct tape online for less than eight bucks?
Okay, I get it; unicorn tape is way cooler than kitten heads, but $30 for a roll of swimwear that won’t even fit?
What. The. Actual. Fuck.
To make matters worse, the website suggests purchasing at least two rolls (probably closer to three) if you plan to recreate the look of one of their Instagram swimsuit models, but here’s the real clincher…
The body tape sold on Black Tape Project’s website is—WAIT FOR IT—not suitable for swimming.
As stated on their website, the tape is not waterproof and will come off in water or excessive sweat. And, although their tape is safe for the skin, they recommend “not being in direct sun exposure for an extended period of time” as there is a possibility you might receive some interesting tan lines.
So, I guess if you’re smart, you’ll stick to wearing spandex this summer.