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Meet the designer who challenged the traditional idea of gendered fashion in India

A few designers in India are not only just bringing avant-garde designs to the table but also kickstarting meaningful conversations. The label of designer Anvita Sharma, Two Point Two has become an eponymous brand when it comes to gender-neutral clothing. She is among the pioneers in India who began to design androgynous clothes and blurred gender lines. Her work has not only helped many from the queer community to express themselves in the most stylish way but also helped cis men and women to explore fashion in its many forms. Let us know from the designer how she brought about that change in Indian fashion with her designs.

Conversion with the designer, Anvita Sharma

1. How would you define queer style in India?

Ans. She replied I feel that the queer community is much more flamboyant in their expression in terms of fashion. They are more free and open to taking chances when it comes to colors and silhouettes. It is always fun to draw someone up who is more enthusiastic about experimentation and taking risks.

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2. What made you start a gender-neutral brand? Did you have second thoughts on trying something else before you started the label?

Ans. While I was studying fashion, I always used to question the categorization that we have in clothing. I personally shop from the menswear section quite a lot so I couldn’t understand why there was a separation, especially in 2017 where the binary definition of genders had already started blurring. For me, gender roles have always been a societal construct and things like clothes shouldn’t belong to any one particular box of gender identity. Due to this want and necessity to break the status quo and the pre-defined gender roles of society, I always envisioned Two Point Two as a genderless brand. Surprisingly, I actually studied economics and finance before I got into fashion. 

3. Are Indian cis men more ready to experiment now and not scared of being labeled?

Ans. Yes, definitely in yesteryears cisgender men have become more and more open to experimentation and less strict about the codes and rules of what society has defined masculinity and menswear to be like. Apart from the general trajectory of growth of society, I feel that media has played a very big role in this transition where idols like actors, entrepreneurs, and businessmen have come forward with their own experimental image, leading the masses to follow.

4. Where do you think queer fashion is heading in our country?

Ans. I am very grateful and lucky to be part of a movement that started relatively recently in our society regarding openness and acceptability for the queer community. And of course, this has led to more openness in terms of fashion and identity expression for the queer community in India. There is still a long way to go but I would hope that the future allows everyone in the queer community to be more true to themselves and to be able to wear whatever they want to wear without any negative consequences irrespective of which category the garment lies in.

5. Name a few designers’ works that you admire.

Ans. That is a long list, but my all-time favorite is Yohji Yamamoto and Rajesh Pratap Singh. Their craftsmanship and runway shows are truly a spectacle to be admired.

6. What are the new things that you are planning for your label in the years to come?

Ans. We are experimenting with different fabrics that we haven’t worked with in the past, including sustainable handloom textiles from India, amalgamating them with Western silhouettes, and aesthetics, and with that are planning to debut in the American and European markets soon. Hoping for the best.

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