The New York Fashion Week is one of the most exciting events in the global fashion calendar. The semi-annual event sees the city’s vibrant energy profile become even more exciting, with streets becoming impromptu runways and cafes becoming hotspots for critique, gossip, or just recounting who caught what show. New York lives and breathes fashion for a week or so in February and September.
Fashion Week isn’t just an opportunity for established designers and brands to show their best and latest. It’s also a time when up-and-comers can set up their shows, limelight-adjacent, and issue their challenge to the status quo. One such presentation is scheduled for September 9th, 2023, at 45 Lispenard Street.
Dubbed ‘Disdress,’ a portmanteau of the words ‘disrupt’ and ‘dress,’ the event aims to uphold one of the most sacred fashion industry practices —playing with the status quo. It follows the traditions set by Coco Chanel, Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Alessandro Michele, and Telfar Clemens, adopting a mission to attack the state of affairs from one of its many sides.
The disruption Disdress brings with its event rests on the talents of a new generation of creators and their bold visions of the industry’s future. It’s new people with new designs trying to influence the course of the industry by showcasing their latest creations.
The event will be powered and curated by PRK Bodywear. Founded by Tubarus Chisholm, PRK Bodywear is dedicated to innovation and challenging the existing gender norms. To liberate men and non-binary people from the stranglehold of masculinity, PRK Bodywear aims to engage people’s cultural, performative, and sexual norms, giving insight into the wealth of expressions people can take up when they feel liberated and empowered.
Establishing the brand hasn’t been a walk in the park. Opening up about his journey, Tubarus mentions that, even though he didn’t have any formal education or training in design or fashion, he saw a need for a certain kind of underwear that doesn’t conform to gender norms.
Tubarus drew inspiration from the designs that piqued his interest when he was still a kid. Whether it was the simplicity and androgyny he saw in Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta, or the classic lines of Ralph Lauren, he’d devour whatever he found in fashion magazines that he’d look at after school. He was further empowered to dream about creating clothes by watching his mother do it for him and his siblings.
When all of these influences came together, and mixed with the courage he saw the people around him with similar interests exhibit, Tubarus started to design. He started making masculine garments from classically feminine silhouettes like the chiffon robe with a thong instead of boxers. And so was born the idea for an underwear-first company with other items for sale.
Like many other budding brands, finding and establishing a good manufacturer was an adventure, but Tubarus was ready to put his plans to work once he got that down. The ultimate goal would be to build PRK Bodywear to rival the most prominent players on the market right now.
While Disdress is a part of the strategy, that’s not all it will be. The show will promote PRK Bodywear’s SS24 RTW, Intimates, and Athleisure collections along with other creatives, but it won’t stop there. Once the doors open at 10:30 am on September 9th, visitors will enjoy an experience with other brands and designers over the next ten-and-a-half hours. So it won’t be a single-brand runway show but a multi-designer immersive experience, in line with the type of disruption Disdress wants to create.
One of the designers is also a young artist. The other left Germany to pursue his dreams of becoming the next Virgil. The third is fresh out of college. And all of them are in dire need of space and exposure, much like Tubarus needed when he was just starting out.
An event that promises to show something new, different, and defiant, Disdress aims to be a breath of fresh air into the often-commercialized world of fashion. The new designers might be fighting for their place in the limelight, but they’re doing it by promoting freedom, nonconformity, and personal expression, all under the patronage of an experienced designer who’s been doing the work himself with no holdbacks. And we can never have enough of that