In wake of the deadly mass shootings that took place in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, Fox Nation host Tomi Lahren has introduced an athleisure fashion collection, Freedom by Tomi Lahren, in collaboration with Texas-based company Alexo Athletica, a company founded by former NRATV host Amy Robbins. The company is known for its Signature Carrywear leggings and shorts with built-in gun holsters, and the products are made in China — leaving many up in arms about the new line.
"For those who love God, Guns and Country and are proud to show it. Freedom. Alexoathletica.com," the 27-year-old conservative news commentator tweeted on Friday, Aug. 23 with a link to her new line. The post generated 8,500 comments, with many calling out the fact that the tags on Alexo Athletica products show that they are made in China, contradicting her patriotic description.
Lahren posted a refusal by Twitter to ban a verified account that posted a response referring to the collection as "horribly executed, vomit-inducing, nauseating trash" and called for Lahren and those involved in producing the line to "kill yourselves."
"Many of you in the vile place that is Twitter will mock and degrade me no matter what I do. Quite frankly, I don’t care. This is my line and I’m damn proud of it and all the women part of it with me," Lahren tweeted Saturday.
The six-piece collection ($37-$99) includes a T-shirt, tank top, lightweight sweater, star-print bomber jacket, leggings and a bra top (the latter two offered in the star print or a colorful camouflage pattern). There is also a logo bag as a gift with any purchase over $200.
The "Carrywear Light" collection "is not designed to carry a firearm," according to the site. "If looking for an option with a built-in holster please see our Signature Carrywear items."
The Signature Carrywear pieces include pockets created to "store a taser, mace, stun gun, blade firearm (up to 23 oz. loaded or less) or any other tool you choose to carry," cites the product description, also noting that the leggings "have a patent-pending double pocket system designed to hold a credit card or ID in front of your firearm for added trigger guard protection."
In March, Lahren tweeted her support for the brand: "Live. Speak. Stand. Run. Carry with Confidence. Ladies, chances are your assailant is gonna be bigger, stronger and faster and that’s why you have @alexoathletica for your gun, your mace or even your phone. Yeah, you’ve got it covered. #TeamTomi #alexoathletica #NotYour AverageGunGirl."
Lahren, who has been an outspoken supporter of Second Amendment rights, tweeted Aug. 13: "Gun rights not infringements will allow the good guys to fight back."
"I think there are a lot of young girls out there that don’t really feel like they have a brand that represents their freedom — they don’t feel like they have a brand that represents their rights," Lahren said in a Youtube video touting her new collaborative collection. "It’s sort of been taken over by a certain group of people. And I wanted my fans, my followers, my friends, to have a line that they could wear and feel proud to be an American, feel proud of freedom, proud of the country that they live in. And that’s really what this line represents."
Robbins chimes in, "After a few bad experiences on a run that left me feeling defenseless and helpless, I quickly realized that I never want to not only run in fear again, but I never wanted to live in fear again. And I realized that I wasn’t alone in that. The problem was there was no athletic company that was solving this problem to allow women to carry something that would keep them safe but also do it in a stylish way."
As for the lack of a holster, Lahren explained, "Now, my line doesn’t have a gun holster in it, and that was important to me also because I believe that there are a lot of people out there who really aren’t ready to have a gun holster in their pants but they like the idea behind it, they like the messaging behind it, they believe in the Second Amendment and they want to wear something from a company and a person like me that really do represent it."
She also seems to bring a #MeToo-type of empowerment into her conversation on the fashion collaboration: "There’s a whole group of women now that are coming together, no matter what side of the political aisle that they are on, and saying, 'I want to be empowered.' Empowerment to me, quite frankly, is being able to do whatever the hell you want and not apologizing for it. … I like people who don’t care what people think about them. Those are the kind of people I want to be friends with."
Lahren celebrated the "confident" diverse models who participated in her photo shoot: "They don’t all look like me. They don’t all think like me. But they all believe in themselves and they are all confident in who they are. Because, believe me, if you’re going to put stars across your thighs and your butt, you’re confident in who you are. And that means something to me."
On Friday, Aug. 30, Lahren confirmed on Twitter that the clothing line is, in fact, not made in the United States, posting a message from Robbins and saying: "Like many American small business owners, Alexo aims to be made in America. We are working on that."
Robbins' post noted that the company went with "an American based company that happened to have their manufacturing facilities overseas." She continued, "Due to the increased labor costs and heightened regulations many U.S. based manufacturers face, we were left with little option but to manufacture overseas to start out. We're working diligently to bring our manufacturing back home fo the US and and work with other hardworking companies that pride themselves on integrity and quality."
The Hollywood Reporter reached out to Lahren but, through a spokesperson at Fox News, she declined an interview for this story.
Aug. 30; 7:27 p.m.: Updated to include statement from Lahren.