Colin Bailey of Alpha One talks elegance and product design
There is hardly a substance that fascinates people more than gold. Not only is it valuable, but it is also stands for elegance and quality. Those are exactly the attributes that Colin Bailey, the founder of Alpha One, wants to communicate with his products, his goal being to enrich the consumers’ love life with luxury and class. Therefore, the British designer presents his toys with a stylish gold finish. In our EAN interview, we explore people’s fascination with this material, and we take a closer look at Colin’s products, “The Ring” and “Unity”.
Hi, Colin, before we talk about your company and products, could you tell you a bit about yourself and your professional background first?
Colin Bailey: I worked for many years as a designer at a well established London design agency. I have worked for almost all the major blue chip companies and on many of their brands within the fast moving consumer goods market. I now work for my own company designing and developing new products.
Having worked within design and manufacturing since 1990 not only do I know how to create a good design, I also have an intimate knowledge of most of the manufacturing processes that allow me to turn a good design into great product.
Your company is called Alpha One. Do you have a philosophy your work is based on? Which products are you offering?
Colin Bailey: My aim is always to create beautiful and practical designs. Often when working for a design agency you would have to work within the brand guidelines and I always aimed to stretch and push those boundaries to make eye catching and elegant products. Now that I work for my myself I can lead the design brief and can work with fewer restrictions.
Both The Ring and Unity I feel reflect the standard of my design aesthetic, quality of work and the thought that goes into making products that are both beautiful, practical and products that are different to what is already out there in the market place.
The first product you launched is called “The Ring“ and that’s exactly what it looks like at first sight. But what exactly is The Ring?
Colin Bailey: The Ring is a luxury male masturbator. I tried to create an object that would bring a touch of luxury and style to an essential and enjoyable pastime. With its slim profile and ergonomic design I feel I have done a reasonable job in achieving this. The Ring can also be used as a fellatio aid or as a luxury cock ring during intercourse.
The soft inner rings of The Ring act just like a body and open up to fit snugly on any size penis. Its discreet nature means The Ring won’t raise any eyebrows apart from how it looks. Precision machined in the UK from a solid block of hi grade Aluminium or Stainless Steel, then plated in 24c Gold and hand polished to a mirror shine, The Ring brings a jewellery quality designer product to the adult lifestyle market.
You recently launched a second product, Alpha One Unity. Could you describe this toy in more detail? How is it used?
Colin Bailey: Unity is a luxury couples insertable, predominately an anal insertable massager for both partners but can be used as a traditional woman’s vibrator as well. Unity is designed so that you wear one each during intercourse for amazing orgasms. Another benefit to this is that both partners get to enjoy the same experience of enjoying the same toy at the same time.
As with The Ring Unity is machined from a solid block of aircraft grade aluminium with a matt or hand polished finish and then gold plated in 24c Gold with an integrated three speed vibrator. This toy is designed to give harder erections and amazing orgasms during intercourse and is a great companion product for the Alpha One Ring.
Alpha One Unity feels as good as it looks. The ball part is inserted into the body. The black part is a 3 speed vibrator, this part sits outside the body. The Unity has a thin shaft connecting the ball to the vibrator. The thin shaft has two functions, one it allows you to fully close around the object and two it allows the vibrations to travel through the shaft and vibrate the ball inside your body and they feel fantastic.
So discreet you can wear them all day and every time you move it moves too. Even without the vibrations on they feel great and with the vibrations its even better. As you’re fully closed around the toy it just can’t fall out. During intercourse its amazing every time you move the Unity moves with you. With every thrust it pushes gently against your anus from the inside sending very pleasurable sensations all around that area. These sensations coupled with the intercourse make for some truly fantastic sex.
The design of Unity is not that of a typical sex toy. How did you come up with this design?
Colin Bailey: The design evolved from another product that I was developing. The product that is now The Unity just looked so good and the way the vibrations travelled along the thin shaft you could already tell how nice it was going to feel so we knew we had to make it a product.
We sent out some units to our testers and they all came back with brilliant positive reviews and the Unity was born.
One of the aspects that make your toys different from the majority of your competitors is that they are made of metal. Why did you choose this material instead of the more commonly used and softer silicone?
Colin Bailey: Metal is an intrinsically beautiful material and perfectly complements the simple yet elegant shape of the products. Of course for The Ring the part that is in contact with your body is very soft gel like rubber, but for the Unity it is the metal itself. There are many benefits to using metal.
You can achieve a very smooth finish and it’s very hygienic, but the best feature about the Unity being made from metal is that you can cool it down or heat it up giving these toys a whole new dimension and the user an even greater range of experiences when using this product compared to standard toys.
You offer your products with a 24c Gold finish. What makes this metal so appealing in your eyes?
Colin Bailey: The finish of these toys makes them look more like jewellery than sex toys and how can you have jewellery without Gold? We do use Gold to give them a luxury feel but also Gold is a naturally inert material therefore is very safe to use in your body.
Most objects that are Gold or Gold plated tend to be smaller items so you never really get to see it’s real beauty.
When you see Gold on well finished and a relatively large object like The Ring you can really tell what all the historical fuss is about, it really has a deep lustrous finish that other metals just don’t have.
A golden sex toy is quite luxurious. Who is the target audience for your products?
Colin Bailey: The Gold toys are for people who are looking for something that little bit special, maybe as a gift or a treat for someone they love. For the Unity we also sell a couples pack so they would be great for an exciting self indulgent weekend away. The units are more expensive than your average toy but the Gold Unity is offered at around the same price as some of the more expensive silicone toys which I don’t think is too unreasonable.
Where are your toys sold? Do you work with distributors?
Colin Bailey: We sell our toys online at alphaonesextoys.com and through several high end outlets.
Are your products available throughout Europe?
Colin Bailey: Yes our products are also on sale from the guys at Eropartner in the Netherlands.