How Rebirth Garments is reinventing fashion for QueerCrip people

The 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.

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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 daydreaming about a clothing line that was all-inclusive.

Radical Visibility by Rebirth Garments from Sky Cubacub on Vimeo.

Cubacub suffers from allergies, anxiety, depression, digestive disabilities and panic disorders. Rebirth Garments offers physical, wearable objects in which 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.

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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 for chain mail, 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 chain mail 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 corsets1920s-inspired swimsuits and pastel binders. Cubacub tailors every item to the customer’s 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 nonconforming 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 adaptations 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.

By S. Nicole Lane


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