Fashioning Identity examines how fashion intersects with various aspects of identity, including gender, sexuality, race, age, and socio-economic status, to name a few, through the lens of street culture.
Each topic explores its history, where we are today, and what’s to come. The podcast includes inspiring voices in the fashion industry, alongside today's youth, to examine different subjects centered around identity and representation.
Fashioning Identity: Age
On this episode, we survey attitudes toward age in the fashion industry and what effect that has on the culture at large. To begin, host Sachin Bhola speaks to Kelly Cutrone, whose 30-plus-year career has spanned across both the fashion and entertainment industries. Drawing upon her experiences, notably as the founder of PR firm People's Revolution, she offers a candid take on ageism, the distinctive ways in which women experience it, and opines on whether the industry will ever really change.
Next, Bhola turns to Ben Gorham, the founder of luxury goods company Byredo, to explore the concept of age in relation to brands. For instance, how do brands stand the test of time and how do the people behind them negotiate getting older in an industry that is obsessed with youth culture?
Then, Bhola sits down with streetwear aficionado Charles Allcroft. He talks about how he got into the scene, how he earned the nickname "Mr. 630" by a Supreme shop guy, and how, at 75, age is nothing but a number for him.
This episode of Fashioning Identity scrutinizes age and ageism through the lens of fashion, presents different ways of looking at age, and more.
Fashioning Identity: Intersectionality - Live at NeueHouse
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.
Host Sachin Bhola kicked things off with a discussion 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. Bhola 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 commented. “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?’" We then 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, what people can do to influence change, and more.
Fashioning Identity: Disability
On this episode, we investigate the relationship people with disabilities have with fashion and why they’re so invisible in the industry. To begin, host Sachin Bhola speaks to Stephanie Thomas, the founder and CEO of Cur8able, a company that specializes in dressing with disabilities. Thomas provides a snapshot of the role clothing played for people with disabilities in the past and then discusses the challenges they face in participating in fashion today. She also offers advice on how the industry can better serve the market, which includes a discussion on the appropriate language to use.
Next, Jian DeLeon, Highsnobiety's editorial director, speaks to Bradley Carbone. After a snowboarding accident, Carbone was left requiring the use of a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Currently working on skateboarding magazine Sneeze, and as a former adidas trend marketing manager, Carbone talks about how media and streetwear can provide a community for people with disabilities.
Bhola then sits down with Quin Lewis, who works for the state department in Washington D.C. by day and is a fashion enthusiast off duty. He shares his story about an accident that left him with a prosthetic leg and gives advice to both the industry and to people with disabilities on how to move forward.
Fashioning Identity: Race
On this episode, we delve into the relationship between the fashion industry and race. To begin, Patrick Michael Hughes, an associate professor at Parsons School of Design, describes what racial diversity looked like throughout fashion history, starting from the beginning of the 20th century. He also highlights groundbreaking moments for racial inclusion in fashion.
To bridge the past with the present, and to introduce streetwear to the conversation, host Sachin Bhola turns to two of the most respected people in the industry. The first is Chris Gibbs of Union Los Angeles, who details what he's observed about fashion and race over the last two decades, including streetwear's gentrification of "urban" fashion and the importance of brands that are owned and operated by people of color. The second is Bobby Hundreds of The Hundreds, who talks about the browning of America and the influence that has on consumer culture and on an industry he says is predominantly run by white people. He also discusses issues he sees between minority groups when it comes to race politics and fashion.
Next, Bhola sits down with Libyan American journalist, activist, and speaker Noor Tagouri, who was misidentified in American Vogue’s February print issue earlier this year. Tagouri, a Muslim woman, shares what the consequences of being mis-raced by the media are. We then consider how the industry can address race and racism in the future by speaking to civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson, who sits on Gucci's newly created Changemakers Council, an initiative designed to promote cultural awareness and diversity.
This episode of Fashioning Identity scrutinizes the fashion industry's troubling history with race, offers advice on what people can do to demand the industry changes, and more.
Fashioning Identity: Sexuality
With the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and WorldPride happening this month, we turn our attention to LGBTQIA+ people and their relationship to fashion. To begin, Valerie Steele, the director and chief curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, discusses the role fashion has played for queer people throughout history. She references “A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk,” an exhibit she co-curated that was the first in-depth look at LGBTQIA+ contributions to fashion over the past 300 years.
To get an understanding of the issues young queer people are facing today – and fashion’s role in telling their stories – host Sachin Bhola speaks to a few leading voices in the community. The first is rapper Taylor Bennett, who came out as bisexual in 2017. Next, Pierre Davis and Arin Hayes, the founders of streetwear brand No Sesso, weigh in on fashion’s commodification of sexual identity, particularly around Pride. To get the perspectives of people who don’t work in fashion, Bhola solicits the opinions of Jackie O and Mercy Kelly from The Hetrick-Martin Institute.
One brand that has long been invested in supporting the LBGTQIA+ community is Gap, and its 2019 Pride campaign features author and activist Jodie Patterson. She talks about her chosen family and what she’s learned raising her transgendered son. We then take a global perspective on the LGBTQIA+ identity and talk to Ian Daniel, co-host and co-producer of Gaycation, who gives us a snapshot of queer people’s experience around the world and their relationship to fashion.
This episode of Fashioning Identity examines the hardships and the triumphs of LBGTQIA+ people, thinks critically about the role fashion plays in their lives, and more.
Fashioning Identity: Gender
On our first episode, we explore the relationship between what we wear and the politics of gender. To begin, Jack Halberstam, a professor of gender studies at Columbia University, defines gender and helps contextualize it in fashion. Next, Valerie Steele, the director and chief curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, shares some critical moments in history when fashion challenged traditional gender norms.
To investigate whether or not fashion has the power to change people’s ideas about gender, host Sachin Bhola speaks to a few gender-bending people in fashion, including Hood By Air’s Ian Isiah, musician Shamir, and Suited Magazine‘s Ash Owens. Also, Highsnobiety’s editorial director, Jian DeLeon, weighs in on the current state of heterosexual masculinity and what fashion can tell us about it.
We then consider the future of gender identity through the lens of fashion by speaking to Jackie O and Mercy Kelly from The Hetrick-Martin Institute, and look outside traditional gender binaries, notably to those who identify as transgendered. Bhola speaks to Ian Alexander, best-known for playing Buck on Netflix’s The OA, to get his perspective on the trans identity.
This episode of Fashioning Identity unpacks fashion’s role in constructing – and deconstructing – gender identity, recognizes the diversity in gender, and much more.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Comfort like Noor says is at the core of so much racial oversight.
Super important conversation for anyone who cares about fashion
Really interesting podcast that goes below the surface level of fashion. The guests and host really prove that fashion isn’t just superficial but a reflection of our society.
Incredible insight into why we think of gender in the way we do. So eye-opening, thought provoking and excellently structured. Cannot wait for more episodes!!!