A group of models strutted down the catwalk wearing nothing but tiny pieces of tape over their private parts during a scandalous runway show for the Black Tape Project on Sunday.
The New York Fashion Week show featured models like Nina Jovanovic, Juniee Bee, and Teddi Mansueto stomp the catwalk in a series of very unique outfits made purely out of body tape.
The ladies left very little to imagination as they showcased the looks, which were all curated by designer Joel Alvarez.
Each design used different combinations of tape in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors to create various looks.
The Black Tape Project held its New York Fashion Week runway show on Sunday, when a group of models strutted their stuff in very risque tape outfits
Designer and the self-described ‘King of Tape’ Joel Alvarez created the scandalous looks
On his website, Alvarez describes himself as ‘the world’s only body tape expert,’ and the ‘founder and pioneer’ of the body tape art genre
Each of the designs resembled a bathing suit of sorts
Some featured black tape, while others used shimmering purple, gold, or green – while some even came with tassels or embellishments.
On his website, Alvarez describes himself as ‘the world’s only body tape expert,’ and the ‘founder and pioneer’ of the body tape art genre.
The first-generation Cuban American, who was born and raised in Miami, explained that the company turned his life around after he spent months ‘living out of his car’ and ‘struggling to feed himself’ without ‘a dollar to his name.’
Following the death of a family member in 2008, he inherited a ‘small, run down property’ that was so run down it was ‘not suitable for living.’
‘It was definitely the lowest point of my existence,’ he said on his bio. ‘The house smelled like a wet dog.
‘It had pink water that would come out of the bathtub when I flushed the toilet and there were holes in the roof that were the size of a microwave.
‘I mean, I could literally see the sky from the living room. I dropped to my knees and I looked up to the night sky and cried. I asked what I did to be dragged so low into the ground?’
But as he was cleaning up the residence, he miraculously discovered a box in the closet that contained $26,000 in it.
The Miami-based fashion brand has become known for its over-the-top fashion week shows
The designs were stuck carefully to each model’s body, having been designed by Joel himself
Alvarez sells his tape online with prices starting from $9.99 for a simple black tape and $29.99 for more colorful rolls
The Black Tape Project also sells a collection of metallic spikes on its website so that people at home can attempt to recreate the more embellished looks seen on the runway (right)
The fashion designer began his career in Miami after using his last $1,500 to purchase a camera so he could begin staging shoots
‘One day an out of town model booked me for a shoot and on our last look she pulled out a roll of tape and asked me to tape her,’ he explained on his website
He found out the money had belonged to his late grandfather, who put it away in the late ’60s for a rainy day but never spent it.
‘After many years of what I considered “the toughest era” in my life, I quickly put the funds to work in hopes to correct my debts and turn my life around,’ he continued.
‘I first put in a new roof and paid off the Ford Focus I was living in. I partied a little and gave money to my family and friends.
‘When you’re young, that amount of money seems like a fortune but I soon realized that $26,000 wouldn’t last long in this day and age.’
He said he put his last $1,500 towards the purchase of a camera, which was what ultimately launched his career as a fashion designer.
He started photographing some of the women who worked at his local Hooters, before he began connecting with Miami-based models over Myspace.
Within months, he was getting published in local magazines. Alvarez continued to work his way up the ladder and eventually shot for huge outlets like Maxim and Playboy – still using the original Canon he had purchased with his grandfather’s money.
‘One day an out of town model booked me for a shoot and on our last look she pulled out a roll of tape and asked me to tape her,’ he explained.
Alvarez explained that his first experience of taping up the model was a rather messy one, joking that the tape was so tight, it left her looking like the ‘Michelin Man’
Alvarez began working on his art form and has developed a very unique style over the years
The designer admits that he was initially ‘defensive’ about anyone trying to replicate his body tape work, but he ‘soon realized’ that it would enable him to share his skills with more people
‘Soon we started seeing customers who themselves became artists creating their own body tape designs with our tape in all seven continents,’ he revealed
‘I had know idea where to start or what she was expecting. So I just jumped head first and started taping her.
‘The design was so incomplete and extremely tight. She looked like the Michelin Man who lost a fight with rubber bands.
‘But I kept at it because I kept seeing lines and I found the ability to compliment the body by adding lines and creating negative spaces that called to the viewers.’
From there, Alvarez began working with local dancers at Miami clubs, explaining that he began working ‘three or four nights a week’ taping up six women.
‘I had to work fast and make designs that wouldn’t fall apart when they danced, this is where I developed most of my techniques,’ he continued.
Within a few years, the designer found himself being launched to viral fame when he worked on a shoot with a former Miss Puerto Rico, whom he created a gold tape ensemble for – a process that he documented in a social media video, which quickly racked up tens of millions of viewers, helping Alvarez to gain a new legion of fans.
‘The calls and emails started pouring in and my life changed yet again,’ he recalled.
‘It’s safe to say that The Black Tape Project has saved my life and now I am able to provide for my family, my circle and myself.’
Now, Alvarez has become a staple at New York Fashion Week, regularly wowing the crowds with his incredibly risque tape ensembles.
He has also turned his fashion week appearances into a lucrative venture, selling off tickets to his shows for up to $999-a-piece for a VIP backstage experience.
The designer also sells rolls of his signature body tape in a variety of colors on his website, with the most basic black hue starting at $9.99 a roll, while the more vibrant options – including metallic golds, blues, and pinks – cost up to $29.99 each.
Alvarez began working with local dancers at Miami clubs, explaining that he began working ‘three or four nights a week’ taping up six women a night
‘I had to work fast and make designs that wouldn’t fall apart when they danced, this is where I developed most of my techniques,’ he continued
Alvarez shared a social media video of the gold tape design he created for Miss Puerto Rico and it quickly went viral, receiving ten million views overnight
‘The calls and emails started pouring in and my life changed yet again,’ he recalled
Now, Alvarez has become a staple at New York Fashion Week, regularly wowing the crowds with his incredibly risque tape ensembles
The Black Tape Project has been in high demand across the globe, he claims, with Alvarez saying he regularly gets asked to appear at festivals and nightclubs with his bold designs
Alvarez claims that the tape he uses is safe for the skin and should not cause irritation
The designer is seen posing with his models at the conclusion of the show