This piece appears as part of our initiative on Identity & Representation, a six-month-long project highlighting different facets of identity and how they shape the practices, conventions, and conversations happening in the Highsnobiety world. Head here for the full series.
On Fashioning Identity, Highsnobiety's new podcast series, we examine how fashion intersects with identity. Every month, writer and host Sachin Bhola talks to some of the most inspiring people in the industry, alongside the voices of today's youth, about a different subject centered around identity and representation. From gender to sexuality to race to socio-economic status to much more, Highsnobiety shines a light on marginalized voices in street culture.
On this edition of Fashioning Identity, we hosted a live panel at NeueHouse during New York Fashion Week with a special focus on intersectionality.
The Fashioning Identity episodes examine one layer of identity – gender or race, for example – but the reality is many of us check off more than one minority box. As a result, these overlapping layers of identity create unique experiences and systems of discrimination that shape our lives. To explore this, we invited a guest from each of our past episodes to share their point of view on intersectionality and fashion’s role in it. Our panelists included social activist and author Jodie Patterson; journalist, producer, and speaker Noor Tagouri; Suited magazine founder, tailor, and designer Ash Owens; and Sneeze magazine partner and brand director Bradley Carbone.
NeueHouse, the private workspace located in New York City and Los Angeles, is known for bringing together creatives and thought-leaders to dissect new ideas and, thus, provided an ideal environment to facilitate this important conversation.
Things kicked off with a read on the past and present state of inclusion in the fashion industry and why it’s been able to get away with the lack of it for so long. “Because they were able to control their own narrative without the amplification of voices of people,” Tagouri commented. “Now with social media and people's voices being amplified for the first time, we can just talk back and be like, ‘Look, you don't see me, then I don't need to spend my dollars here.’”
We then probed into intersectionality and what that meant for our panelists. “I'm not even sure if people want to peel back all the layers,” Patterson said. “I have a son who's a black transgender boy and I find that to be hard for people to wrap their head around. I'm a black woman who's lived hetero and I'm in a queer relationship now and people are like, ‘Well, what does that mean?’"
The panel wrapped up by considering what the future of fashion and identity politics looks like. This episode of Fashioning Identity was recorded live at NeueHouse, and calls attention to people with intersectional identities, how fashion overlaps with them, and what people can do to influence change. You can watch the video of the panel by hitting play above; or, listen to the podcast episode above or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or any of your favorite podcast apps.
ICYMI: On our last episode, Bradley Carbone and more discuss fashion and disabilities. Listen to Fashioning Identity: Disability here.