The exploration of power dynamics and sexual submission through bondage can be liberating for all parties involved. It is a way of subverting conservatism and embracing fantasies through a solid bedrock of consent and trust. Subculture is a homegrown label centred on leather fashion, fetish and utility with a visionary manifestation of putting leather into erotic as well as aesthetic fantasies.
At the core of the brand are the celebration of pleasure, romance, and eroticism as they draw inspiration from our indigenous heritage that is replete with references to eroticism, sexual pleasure, sexual fulfilment, and sexual fantasy. Exploring leather as kink, fashion and lifestyle, their products are filling an evident void in the Indian market.
The founder and designer Randhir Pratap Singh hopes to start a revolution, the kind that prioritises sex-positivity and inclusivity. Sharing the inspiration behind their recent campaign 'DUNGENTS', he explains that the setting took references from real dungeons that one would see in America or across Europe, in particular, Berlin. Each concept was inspired by an actual kink or fetish that one can see in any typical dungeon such as flogging, punishment, submission, domination, bondage, restraint, humiliation, and after-care.
It seemed fit to collaborate with another nonconformist homegrown brand that shares similar brand ideologies, agendas and notions. Vulgar is a brand transforming the fashion landscape with fluid and futuristic collections. At its core lies a yearning to become a voice of change, in the hope to break away from the archaic binary by expressing the fluid nature of masculinity and femininity through a radical embrace.
As the two brands came together they immediately started formulating Dungeon concepts like St. Andrew's Cross, Chain Restraint Bars, Orgy rooms, Shibari rope play, Wax-Play, Submission, Domination, Cage Play. Randhir shares how it was a dream come true for the team at Subculture as they always intended to create India's first artistic Dungeon. This campaign in short was a reflection of everything that Subculture intends to create in real life.
The idea behind the campaign was inclusivity, to reiterate the message that fetishes and kinks have no genders, colours, or sizes and in a dungeon, all that matters is consent & pleasure. They collaborated with multiple artists and active members of the community to bring the campaign to life. Assigning different roles/personalities per concept they created a world of fantasy by employing unique storytelling tropes.
Durga (aka Duraflex) as The Dominatrix, Aazad as The Hetro Metrosexual, Himika as The Swinger Bi-sexual, Agou as The Gay Twink, Shashwat as The Watcher, Elina as The Submissive, Akshay & Deepanshu as The Submissive couple, Kaviraj as The slave, Urvi as The master, Prajwal as The Switch, Nash as the Shibari Practioner, Neeta as The Wanker and Jas as The Side.
A big team like this, came with multiple challenges but the ultimate aim was to create an experience where everyone would feel safe to express themselves as well as their desires in a very intimate space. The collaboration between Subculture and Vulgar reflects a groundbreaking embrace of human sexuality in the most fluid sense where kinks and desires are regarded through a liberating lens.
Subculture also hope to create a real dungeon one day in India where every fetish and kink are accepted and there are no societal judgements against any sexual orientation, preferences, desires and pleasures. Their products represent this desire through a uniquely different aesthetic ranging from leather body harnesses, collars, cuffs, bralettes among others to the utilitarian: suspenders, belts and bags.
Explore the campaign here and check out their 'Dungents' collection here.
Concept ideation & Creative Direction: Randhir Pratap Singh & Akshay Sharma
Photography: Ayush & Dilli Studios
Videography: Abhinav Sharma & Vishal Tripathi
Video Editors: Abhineet Dang & Mansi Arora
Models: Durga Gawde, Agou, Himika Ghoshal, Azad, Akshay, Deepanshu, Shashwat, Nash, Kaviraj, Elina, Jas Sangtam, Neeta Basnet, Urvi Mila, Prajwal Mehra
Styling: Sherwin & Omaryan
HMU: Aratrika Das, Neelesh & Sanya
Creative Assistants: Tazeem & Shreya