ALOK VAID-MENON (they/them) is a gender non-conforming performance artist, writer, educator, and entertainer. They recently released an incredible inaugural gender-neutral fashion collection that "imagines femininity uninhibited by harassment."
Vaid-Menon's eclectic sense of style, political comedy, and poetic challenge to the gender binary have been internationally renowned. Alok was recently the youngest recipient of the prestigious Live Works Performance Act Award granted to ten performance artists across the world. They have been featured on HBO, MTV, The Guardian, National Geographic, The New York Times, and The New Yorker and have presented their work at 300 venues in more than 30 countries.
Alok partnered up with technical designer Adrienne while living in Delhi earlier this year to create their inaugural fashion collection. Alok states that they "have been disappointed (and kind of bored to be honest), but how the turn to *gender-neutral* fashion has been dominated by cisgender people. I wanted to offer my vision as a nonbinary trans femme artist. My clothes are about imagining femininity uninhibited by harassment. I kept asking myself, "What would I wear if I no longer had to be afraid?" Every time I have gone outside femme I have been harassed. I am so tired of having to erase myself for other people's comfort. I wanted to make clothes that allowed me to reclaim my femininity in a world that continually belittles it."
Featuring bold shapes, striking colors and stunning silhouettes, these looks also include clever jabs and double-entendres (as in "PRINCESX") that speak towards the stated mission of deconstructing the gendered world of fashion. Each look has a strong name and a gorgeous blend of archetypes from men's, women's, ethnic, sport, high fashion and even fairytale fashions that truly speaks to both Alok's personality and a new ideal of genderless garb. We especially love the looks that incorporate some of Alok's Southeast Asian heritage. Alok's design skills seem to be an effortless extension of their multi-practice approach towads gender non-conformity, and we can't wait to see more.