INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Fashion designers say more women are seeking out firearms for protection but are finding it hard to conceal them within their wardrobe.
With the National Rifle Association in town, some of those designers are using that audience to showcase how easy hiding a weapon can be.
“There’s an “A-ha” moment, and a very empowering moment, when you can handle a firearm. It removes all of the fear,” said Anna Taylor, who founded the concealed carry fashion brand Dene Adams. “When I got into concealed carry six years ago, I couldn’t find anything safe or practical.”
Dozens of models took to the stage for a women’s concealed carry fashion show at the War Memorial downtown Saturday night. Gun holsters can be hidden inside of purses or in tactical undergarments for sweaters or dresses.
A number of these designers began their work out of violent life experiences. Dawn Hillyer founded Hiding Hilda. She named the company after the pistol she learned to carry with her. She named the gun Hilda. Hillyer said for five years a man stalked her before he was arrested. The traumatic experience forced her to carry a weapon even though her work didn’t allow it. She struggled to find ways to hide it.
“I couldn’t walk out of my house without thinking today might be the day,” Hillyer said of her stalker. “It’s very uncomfortable when you first start concealing. You feel like everybody knows you have a firearm.”
Hillyer said more women are joining the movement to carry a weapon. She said the amount of people attending gun shows is declining, but the number of women is on the rise.