While the fashion industry has made a lot of progress in terms of diversity, it still has a long way to go before one can confidently say it’s a world for everyone. And, like most major changes to the status quo, changing the direction of the whole requires fresh minds with fresh perspectives, like that of Siying Qu and Haoran Li, the duo after New York-based fashion label Private Policy, showed its spring/summer. The 2023 collection at New York Fashion Week earlier this month.
Founded in 2016, Qu and Li use the gender-neutral fashion label to both make political statements and encourage their audience to step out and get dressed — exactly how friend want to get dressed. “We thought, ‘Why do we label clothes for a specific gender? Shirts, skirts, dresses, jackets, it’s genderless, and that got us thinking,” Qu told ELLE.com by phone. “There’s a lot here [women] people who shop in the menswear section just to find clothes with pockets. Guys are going to the women’s section of department stores to find cool colors and fun textures… they love and look good in them. It’s like that [Private Policy] to begin with, allowing our wearers the freedom to use their clothing to express themselves the way they want. ”
For NYFW, Private Policy partnered with DIAGEO, the company behind brands like Guinness, Crown Royal and Casamigos, for the “Fluidity is Freedom” initiative, which also includes a partnership with Luar and CHRISHABANA. With this partnership (not the brand’s first with DIAGEO, according to Qu), Private Policy was able to celebrate gender versatility, even beyond fashion. “It’s great to feel like a community — three brands from New York Fashion Week and DIAGEO partnering with three of their brands,” says Qu. “That support really helped us express the idea of genderless, flexible fashion and challenge gender norms through creativity and fashion together.”
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For Private Policy, initiatives like these are crucial, especially when not so much progress has been made. “It’s hard to break boundaries and say, ‘Oh, be free,'” explains the designer. “But society has changed over the years, and it’s not just fashion. That’s the job of everyone who’s trying to fight for freedom, trying to fight for a more diverse world.” Qu explained that she and Li want their brand to be part of a positive change and are excited to see how their designs influence others in the industry to follow suit.
For the spring/summer 2023 — rich in grid details and white dove images — Private Policy focuses on the concept of peace. But, instead of thinking of peace as the end of a journey, it is the beginning of a journey. “[The dove] It’s a small part of the story. Noah’s struggle, building the ark, and everything leading up to the dove is the whole story, and that’s not even over because they have to land and start over,” Qu told us. . “Therefore [the story] is really about peace after this last moment. It’s the process; it is hard work! We wanted to bring that out in this collection. Other details in the new collection, titled “Capture Peace for All,” include an ergonomic silhouette, large pockets, belt and harness.
And, as with every other collection Private Policy creates, there is an emphasis on self-expression and individuality. It hopes to encourage fashion lovers everywhere to experiment with fashion and hopes to explore new perspectives outside of fashion. “When we talk about inspiration and expression [our audience] interesting designs, begin to open their minds to other things: how they can see the world, how they can participate in different community projects, or how they think about changing the world. world to be better in its own way. “