Gagged Offers A Gender Free & Inclusive Fashion Space For All
The best of fashion is its ability to seamlessly weave together expression and identity, it has functioned to create statements and as a way for many to perform one’s identity. In the last two decades or so particularly there has been an emphasis on how the world of fashion and queer identity have always been intertwined and how all the best trends find their roots in queer fashion, which is borne out of subcultures that are associated with a certain aesthetic, clothing, and medium of expression. We owe gender-neutral fashion and the distancing from gendered ideas of clothing to the queer community.
A new wave of queer fashion enthusiasts are now reclaiming the space of fashion in India by coming up with their own brands that step away from the binaries of gender performance. One such brand is Gagged — a queer run, gender-free and inclusive fashion space and clothing brand for all.
Founded by Rudraksh in 2022, the homegrown label was born out of a need to express themselves through fashion and to have a representation in the world of fashion. Having faced bullying in high school for being perceived feminine and having what many considered an ‘atrocious’ sense of style, Rudraksh found solace in having a niche style one that was abundant in prints, patterns and colours; an aesthetic that excited him. “I identify as gay and for me having my niche style was my only escape. It gave me the expression I needed to showcase myself. After entering college, my clothes became my identity. People used to ask me how do you find such shirts, they used to borrow my shirts and always had a compliment handy for my fits. It gave me the chance to accept myself and turned my escape into my identity.”
What started as a slow fashion thrift store, slowly but surely transformed into a homegrown label with the aim to make fashion genderless. “We aim at making fashion a free art, not shackled with norms such as gender or orientation. It’s for everyone and anyone!” adding “We aim at being a first queer-owned and run gender-free promoting homegrown label and wish to succeed in the representation of our community via our fashion and style internationally.”
What defines the homegrown label’s aesthetic and design is the representation through colours, from a minimal design to a maximalist approach, they want to serve different aesthetics and that too under an affordable price so that everyone gets the chance to represent and feel themselves fully on a budget. They want to create a label and space where no one has to refrain from expressing their identity through fashion due to the lack of being able to afford it.
“We wish to acquire a mainstream fashion space because as queer run business, it will mean representation for us,” says Rudraksh on a parting note, talking about what the emerging homegrown label wishes to achieve. He concludes by saying, “The fashion world is both very welcoming and hostile. We want to see our clothes on mainstream artists, and hopefully, have a physical store too. Right now, my home is my office space. Hopefully, we’ll be able to acquire a space and firm our foothold both in the fashion world and across our operations, having a bigger team for our overall functioning.”
Check them out here.
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