Tom thelaceman Keel

Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia
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The Australian lace and lingerie trade.
A glamorous trade.
A sunset trade.

Shortly after joining the lingerie & lace business in the summer 1989, I was introduced to two veterans of the trade.

The first was ‘Rhino’ from the textile city of Calais in the North of France. A former French foreign-legionnaire, he told tales of international travel, of fabulous lingerie exhibitions and of the opportunities for large sales commissions.

The other lace-veteran of the trade was a local lace buyer who warned that in Australia, the lingerie industry was entering its ‘sunset phase’ and would soon be gone.

This then is the story of lingerie & lace in the 90’s and 00’s and of one man’s journey through it trying to achieve the goal of a large international lace order.

I was young, had a family to support, and a license to travel with a suitcase full of lace and women’s underwear.

What could possibly go wrong?
- the lace man

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