Sanskrit for unity, Aikya, a ready-to-wear capsule by Mayyur Girotra, an Indian couturier, was launched on the first day of Pride Month.

Published: June 5, 2023
Author: Fashion Value Chain

-By Ankita Dutta.

Mayyur Girotra, an Indian couturier, kicked off Pride Month in the US with a runway show at SoHo’s Ave India Design Collective, debuting his first ready-to-wear capsule, “Aikya.” Meaning unity in Sanskrit, Aikya showcases Girotra’s belief that fashion can be a uniting force that brings people together. The assortment honors the Pride flag and color iconography of Indian couture, encompassing the entire range. The incorporation of animal patterns and embroidery showcasing the Kutch style imparts a distinctly South Asian vibe to various apparel like puffer jackets, track pants, and cropped shirts. Furthermore, traditional wears like the mirror embellished Lehenga skirts and Sadri vests are fashionably designed with a youthful touch, accentuating ample skin exposure. The uniqueness of the collection was reflected through casting models of varying body sizes, gender identities, and sexual
orientations, as Girotra believes that fashion should celebrate the beauty of diversity.

Google-affiliated groups Pride at Google and Indus Google Network provided sponsorship for the “Aikya” collection, as confirmed by the designer who expressed his appreciation for their assistance throughout the entire creative process. Girotra expressed gratitude for the encouragement given to promote his designs as a means of raising awareness for the LGBTQ community in India. The event occurred while India’s Supreme Court is still deliberating a decision about the legalization of same-gender marriage. However, Girotra believes that regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision, the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights in India will remain. He further stated that authentic accommodation and equity are only achievable by transforming the perceptions and attitudes of individuals, confronting bigotry
and discrimination, and promoting an environment that celebrates uniqueness in every aspect.

Girotra is renowned in the Bollywood industry, with stars like Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt, and Shilpa Shetty, often donning his designs. The “Aikya” pride capsule is available in stores and online, with prices ranging between $250 to $2,500. The designer retails out of three different US locations, New York, New Jersey, and San Francisco, and has plans to expand his brand’s accessibility.

The fashion industry has historically celebrated and emphasized body type ideals and beauty norms, often leaving behind or ignoring marginalized communities. However, Girotra’s designs present a new frontier. His inclusion of models from different body sizes, gender identities, and sexual orientations ensured that the marginalized communities are included and recognized in the fashion industry. This is remarkable because runway shows are typically reserved for one body type and appearance, perpetuating the false narrative that there is only one standard for beauty.

Girotra’s message regarding the LGBTQ+ community in India is also commendable. While India is a diverse country, conservative cultural practices and beliefs continue to propagate discrimination against the community. The “Aikya” collection, however, serves as a reminder that the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights is not over. One of the dangers of living in a world that consistently pushes for legal recognition is the illusion of progress. Little progress can be made if institutional laws alone are the only agenda for change. Societal values must change if we ever hope to break down systemic discrimination. Girotra’s collection portrays the essence of love, unity, and the beauty of diversity, with hope paving the way for a brighter future where acceptance and love surpass everything that divides us.

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