The deplorable hierarchies within the fashion industry are built upon the image of the slim, white cis female.
Size, shape, identity, and ability are absent in the vision for how clothing should properly fit, creating discomfort and difficulty when choosing something as simple as what to wear for the day.
For Sky Cubacub, a Chicago based genderqueer person of color, something had to budge. A vital medication was in order. They set out to make an impact, and a change, in the world of fashion and lingerie.
Rebirth Garments, which was recently funded on Kickstarter, is sensitive to gender nonconforming, non binary, and QueerCrip people and was started by Cubacub after years of day dreaming about a clothing line that was all inclusive.
Cubacub suffers from allergies, anxiety, depression, digestive abilities, and panic disorders. Rebirth Garments offers physical, wearable objects where customers can feel confident in expressing their identity. As someone who suffers from several disabilities, Cubacub is aware of the obstacles that disabled communities have with mainstream designers and clothing lines. The pieces created challenge beauty norms and mainstream fashion by promoting and celebrating all ethnicities, cultures, ages, identities, abilities, and sizes.
In the Rebirth manifesto, Cubacub states that, “When a part of your physical appearance dominates all others, it becomes you. Your identity is that thing. You are automatically objectified.” Fashion and clothing can become this extension. Rebirth Garments is here to make clothing a positive prosthetic, rather than a negative one.
The pieces in the line themselves are vibrant and include Cubacub’s passion of chainmaille, bringing a kinetic aspect to the sculptural, but functional, pieces. Cubacub writes in Issue 1 of Drala, “We all have needs that our garments must fulfill; the need for warmth, for comfort, and to be attractive.” The utilization of chainmaille in Rebirth’s line, which serves as an armor, and the historical and current trends in fashion, where able-bodied individuals are prioritized, creates a warrior mentality when compared to the unattractive, uncomfortable, and unfortunate options for QueerCrip youth. Other pieces include spandex with geometric shapes, vinyl corsets, 1920s inspired swimsuits, and pastel binders. Cubacub tailors every item to the customers size and many pieces can be custom ordered by color as well.
In addition to their current collection, Rebirth Garments is growing. Rebirth Warriors, is a gender non conforming baby and kids clothing section that will specialize in underwear, activewear, and undergarments like binders and padded bras. Rebirth Warriors will also include clothing that has adaptions for disabled youth to dress themselves.
Fashion, for everyone, should be a means to experiment and explore one’s identity. This important aspect of life should not be exclusive to a single type of individual — fashion should be expansive, ever-growing, and developing. It should never be detrimental to one’s creativity.
Sky Cubacub writes that Rebirth Garments is, “navigating obstacles that social systems construct through disparate points of inspiration. This movement celebrates the contradiction. We, as QueerCrips, are living contradictions in a society that wants us dead.”
Through their incredible resilience and celebratory events, projects, and future plans, Rebirth Garments is sure to rock the queer fashion industry boat a little harder than expected.