Indya Moore, the nonbinary actor and activist, has codesigned a capsule collection with Tommy Hilfiger called Tommy x Indya.
The size-inclusive, non-gendered designs are part of Hilfiger’s People’s Place Program, a three-pillared platform with the mission of advancing representation in fashion and beyond. The summer pre-fall 2021 Tommy x Indya capsule will be available in the U.S., Brazil and Europe beginning Tuesday on tommy.com as well as select locations globally.
Moore, who starred in the FX series “Pose,” said they’ve never designed apparel before and jumped at the opportunity.
“Of course, I would always be interested in a fashion brand like Tommy,” said Moore, 26, in a telephone interview. “It’s a pretty incredible opportunity. Being invited to come on the team for who I am. Tommy knows who I am, they know what I’m about and what I stand for…they wanted me because of who I am and how I show up,” said Moore, who began their career as a model at age 15 while they were moving through foster homes and enduring bullying at school. After dropping out in the 10th grade (and eventually earning a general equivalency diploma), Moore worked various photo shoots for the likes of Dior and Gucci. They were the first trans person to be featured on the cover of Elle magazine and were selected by Time Magazine for its 2019 List of 100 Most Influential People.
“I often feel that brands are terrified of me, they’re afraid of making mistakes near me. Tommy never moved with that fear,” said Moore. “They were very intentional about coming to me. They were more concerned with getting it right than getting in trouble, and they invited me on that journey. We created beautiful pieces and beautiful art, with all that we brought together.”
The full Tommy x Indya collection includes apparel, intimates, accessories, footwear, jewelry and eyewear. The capsule features polo shirts, Oxford button-down shirts, bandeau tops and pin-striped blazers, each style inspired by a signature piece from the Tommy Hilfiger archive and reimagined to respect multiple gender expressions. There are features such as widened shoulders and adaptable silhouettes to encourage self-expression, fluidity and exploration.
The capsule also tells Moore’s personal story, with details such as initials in collegiate font, their hometown of the Bronx, N.Y., spread across the chest and a lotus flower graphic running throughout, symbolizing rebirth, growth and self-actualization.
“Great style knows no boundaries, and this has always driven my dream to create fashion for all,” said Tommy Hilfiger. “Our People’s Place Program is a huge step in this direction, as we continue to work hard to advance representation and further inclusivity across all areas of fashion. This collection embodies everything we stand for. From the design process to the campaign, the Tommy x Indya capsule is here to make people feel seen, accepted and included. This message means so much to everyone at Tommy Hilfiger. Working with Indya to share their story has been a unique and inspiring experience. We’re so proud to share it with the world.”
Accompanying the capsule is a Tommy x Indya campaign. Shot in the Bronx, Moore’s hometown, by Myles Loftin, in addition to Moore the ads feature four other activists: Chella Man, a multimedia artist who is a deaf, transgender man of Chinese and Jewish heritage; Gia Love, activist and model who created the “What’s Your Fantasy” campaign that advocates for the rights of Black transgender women; Cory Walker, a model and actor based in New York who is represented by New Pandemics, a casting and management agency leading the fight for meaningful LGBTQ representation, and Pidgeon, an intersex advocate and cofounder of the Intersex Justice Project.
In recognition of the partnership, donations were made to three charities: Rainbow Railroad, Reuniting of African Descendants and Global Coralition. Inspired by the spirit of these charities, Moore also designed three charms that are featured on the Tommy x Indya bag and hat.
Although Moore is new to fashion design, they embraced the process.
“We all have an imagination of what clothes make us feel good. We’ve all experienced fashion enough to know by the way clothes fit on our bodies and make us feel good. I was able to come to Tommy with that experience and with that imagination. They gave me the tools to exercise my creativity in really beautiful ways,” said Moore. They said they were able to create “a really beautiful fashion line that isn’t confined between binary.”
“There were no rules when we were talking about these garments and we were imagining how they would fit and feel. We were thinking about comfort and how do we make sure this comfort isn’t accessible to only one kind of body. How can we make this comfort accessible to bodies across the spectrum of bodies? That was a really fun experience,” said Moore.
Moore had conversations with friends of different body sizes, as well as Hilfiger executives. “We met challenges that were very real. Creating bigger sizes, going to a 3X and 4X was an internal challenge. People in the factories already have pre-set metrics that don’t accommodate everyone’s bodies. A lot of fashion brands that contract these places aren’t typically having these conversations with them. We really went in and did so much work in trying to identify who we were going to talk to to make sure they had the tools to expand in the sizing,” said Moore. Among the fabrics they used were satins and linens.
Key styles include the archive striped shirt that has an extra button on the cuff for adjustable sleeve length; the satin basketball shorts, with a full-volume leg shape to blur traditional lines of masculine and feminine and stretch waistbands; the polo shirt, an oversized fit and soft fabric for body-size accessibility; a satin-lined sailing jacket, with adjustable drawstring waist in the oversized silhouette, and a pin-striped tailored pant, with a slight dropped crotch and internal blind stitch hem for additional length.
Rounding out the capsule are a zip-through hoodie, linen lounge pant, cropped satin jacket, androgynously cut pin-striped blazer, and satin dungaree. Apparel retails from $69.50 to $379; intimates go from $29.90 to $69.90, and accessories and footwear retails from $75 to $189.90. The collection ranges in size from XXS to XXXL.
“Anybody can wear it. I feel that unisex, gender-neutral and gender queer, I’m trying not to frame the clothes around using any label at all. They’re just clothes. I want to destigmatize fashion. I don’t want it to have any attachments. I just want it to be wearable for as many kinds of people and bodies as possible. I hope that we were able to achieve that, at least more so than has been done in the past,” Moore said. “I know that someone else will be able to come in and do it bigger and better, and hope that’s one day soon.”
While all the pieces are favorites, Moore is particularly excited about the jewelry.
“We got to get really creative. What do we all have? Boobs. Everybody has boobs. Regardless of how much fat you have behind your nipple, everyone has nipples. I wanted to make boob earrings. A boob pendant on the bottom. It’s just really fun and playful,” they said.
Asked what they learned from the experience, Moore didn’t hesitate. “Fashion’s actually complicated. It definitely takes a village. I’m so grateful. I definitely learned so much. There are so many stages and processes and sample sizes.”
Moore wondered when they saw the prototypes for the first time why they were so small. It was explained that they were just prototypes and a way to create the model and idea. “We need to change the metric. I was trying to figure out how to get the sizing right and make sure we’re as inclusive as possible. We were learning that there were mechanical limitations around how we were able to create these prototypes. It was important for me and a lesson we all learned together. What metrics behind the scenes should be changed? We had a conversation about this, I’m so curious to see how this metric and how a prototype is meant to be more inclusive. It was one of the most profound things I learned. It’s not just a social political conversation; it’s also a conversation about what’s possible and what already is happening, and the complexities around what bigger things need changing and what can happen right now.”
Moore appears eager to continue her fashion journey. “Fashion wasn’t something I was intentional about. Creating in the realm of this industry, it wasn’t an art form I wanted to economize off of. [Growing up] I did cut up little pieces of shirts, and made holes in my jeans, and sewed the graphic part of the shirts onto the spaces in my jeans. I made clothes for myself to express myself and how I felt when I was a young, queer kid. Fashion for me was one of my outlets. Having an opportunity to be colorful in some way. Behind my parents’ back. I would bring in rainbow apparel. I was able to create things I had at home to make me more in alignment with myself. I did those things naturally.
“When Tommy approached me with this thing I felt this kid come out of me,” Moore said. “That young queer kid that wanted to express themselves to what they were creating. What I expressed with what I created with Tommy is made out of not just my past but also the moments I’m at now and how I think and what I believe in.”
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