Charles Guyette (1902-1976) was a pioneer of fetish style, the first person in the United States to produce and distribute fetish art, and the mail-order predecessor of Irving Klaw. Later known as the “G-String King,” he is best remembered for his fetish photographs, some of which featured sadomasochistic content (meaning content involving sadism and masochism).
Guyette was the first person in the United States to produce and distribute fetish art, and the mail-order predecessor of Irving Klaw. In 1935, in the first legal case of its kind, Guyette went to prison for distributing fetish art photographs through the US mail. Later, he operated under a series of aliases.
Guyette worked as an innovative burlesque costumer and dealer in theatrical accessories, providing vintage corsets, opera gloves, custom-made fetish boots, and, most famously, G-strings. Employed by National Police Gazette editor, Edythe Farrell, he later provided costumes, high heel shoes and boots, and occasionally photographs for publisher Robert Harrison, known for such pin-up magazines as Wink, Titter, Beauty Parade, Whisper, and Eyeful.
Guyette was also important in early fetish community social circles of the day.
The 2017 book Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Art, by Richard Pérez Seves, is a tribute to his work.
In the 2017 film Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, written and directed by Angela Robinson, Guyette is featured as the costumer for Wonder Woman’s real-life inspiration, Olive Byrne. Guyette is played by actor JJ Feild.