SEALWEAR was born in 1959 following a brief period of time when the company had been known as RICHWEAR having been founded by Mr. Richfield in 1959.

Sealwear traded from premises at Granville Chambers in the centre of Bournemouth under the ownership of Mr. Richfield for the next 24 years.

Right from the start the focus was put on those rubber garments which, because of their material generosity and cut, centred on the rustling, rippling and unique rubber aroma that only genuine latex lovers know: capes, mackintoshes, nurse outfits, maid’s dresses, Victorian style dresses, frilled underwear……… .


The 1960s saw the first signs of the open-mindedness that could soon be found all over Western Europe. At that time, the TV series “THE AVENGERS” became very popular (1960-1969). It starred Honor Blackman and, later, Diana Rigg as Emma Peel often wearing a skin-tight leather catsuit. Together with Patrick McNee as John Steed, they undertook adventures in a ‘fantasy Britain’ with Blackman and Rigg playing their roles with an air of feisty femininity and aristocratic dominance – a combination that still enjoys great popularity today.

‘The Avengers’ also fired the imagination of John Sutcliffe, the founder of the ATOMAGE fetish magazine. He was a photographer and designer of clothes for aficionados of leather, rubber and PVC, with an emphasis on rubber and leather catsuits, including the famous ‘boot-suit’. It’s a popular misconception that he designed the leather outfits for the AVENGERS. They were actually designed by Michael Wittaker for Honor Blackman and by John Bates for Diana Rigg – although they may have been made up in John Sutcliffe’s workshop.

As well as designing fetish outfits, John was also the publisher of the fetish magazine AtomAge and became known as the “father of the rubber and leather fetish scene”.

John’s and Sealwear’s paths soon crossed and Sealwear started making up in latex what John had already created in leather. The first rubber catsuits were in fact originated in a number of variations – with gloves, with tailored feet, with hoods, masks and even integrated corsages. This really was a “revolutionary” piece of clothing especially when one considers that the mini-skirt and modern tights only entered the fashion world in 1964!

Despite the lack of the internet and emails the name and reputation of Sealwear soon spread outside Great Britain and the company quickly established a good relationship with customers from all over the world; Germany, Switzerland, USA, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Japan and even China. The fetish community became bigger and bigger and the first advertisements were launched in the tabloid press. Indeed, the first Sealwear catalogues soon became collector’s items.

A loyal and dedicated workforce was formed during this period of development which enabled customers to feel confident in the knowledge that ‘The Sealwear Team’ would always produce their garments to the very highest standards. (This is still the case!)

In 1977 SEALWEAR-RUBBER COUTURE became a Registered Trademark.

  In 1981 Sealwear was sold to Derek Hayes. He continued producing the favourite garments from the Sealwear range which belong to any latex lover’s “standard gear” whilst also introducing many new designs. Consequentially, one of the most popular catalogues was named 101 BESTSELLERS.

In the following years more catalogues were published, e.g. ‘The 007 File’ – which was inspired by John Sutcliffe’s amazing fantasy designs which were presented in ATOMAGE BONDAGE and ATOMAGE RUBBERIST – focusing on bizarre and restrictive Rubber wear.

Throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s many Sealwear designs could be found in magazines like ATOMAGE, RUBBERIST, DRESSING FOR PLEASURE, the American CLUB LATEXA and many others. These magazines opened the rubber fetish scene to the mass market and became a forum for like-minded people.

  By the late 1990’s, LATEX MAID was produced using exclusively Sealwear designs. This was a set of six magazines telling a bizarre photo-story of latex maids and their mistresses. Many of the unique rubber costumes could be found in the popular Sealwear ‘Maids & Mistresses’ catalogue.
  In 1983 Sealwear relocated to new premises at Westover Road nearby Bournemouth’s famous seafront boardwalk. Up to 20 employees attended to a wide range of fantastic custom designs.

The practical experience which had been gained over decades working with latex materials guaranteed a ‘bespoke service’.

By the 1990’s, thousands of fetish aficionados had been attracted to the Sealwear showroom at Regent Chambers and the fetish scene was booming.

Many of today’s best known designers and personalities in the rubber scene purchased their very first outfit at Sealwear.

For many years, Rita has been a key factor in Sealwear’s worldwide reputation for quality and service. She both supports her colleagues and displays an understanding and knowledge of her customer’s needs that continues to be a vital ingredient in the Sealwear success story.

The Sealwear name not only represents the longest established manufacturer of high quality latex clothing in the world but is also synonymous within the rubber fashion world for a range and diversity of designs that seems inexhaustible.

  Sadly, after the sudden death of Derek Hayes in 2005, Sealwear was forced to close its doors. Yet, after only a matter of weeks, a young couple bought Sealwear and got the old team back on board.

They relocated to new premises just outside of Bournemouth and, by July 2005, Sealwear’s doors opened again at Unit A6, Stirling Business Park, Ferndown.

The new owners, Regina, a graduate fashion designer, and Peter, have brought a fresh new approach to Sealwear UK Ltd. which comprises a new modern workshop, office facilities and a new showroom. They personally understand the genuine needs and wants of rubber fetish people – they are pure latex lovers.

While keeping the many popular and classic designs for which Sealwear is famous, they will also strive to fulfil their clients most cherished rubber dreams. They’ll achieve this not by silly fashion nonsense but by introducing new and bizarre styles in order to herald a new “Chapter in (Rubber) History”.

Their motto: If it’s possible in rubber, we’ll do it!