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VOX Bizarre--a new store and workshop collaboratively created by indie fashion labels Casey Caldwell, Claire Fleury, LACTIC Incorporated, and TILLYandWILLIAM--is fusing fashion with activism. For the next two weeks, the two-week pop-up will be open for sharing ideas, organizing, and creating at Rockwall Studios in Bushwick from 12pm to 8pm daily.
The Bizarre will also include a fundraiser and Winter Gear Drive for Standing Rock with help from members of the East Coast Two Spirit Society on December 6.
With each label focused on creating pieces that are inclusive for all bodies and gender expressions, activism seems like a logical extension. We caught up with Tilly D Wolfe of TILLYandWILLIAM to chat about keeping things Bizarre.
OUT: What was the inspiration behind VOX?
Tilly D Wolfe: Fusing a store and studio into a transformable gathering space has been a dream of mine for TILLYandWILLIAM for quite some time. So when our studio-mate Claire Fleury had a similar idea and proposed it to us and some like-minded yet aesthetically unique designer friends, Casey Caldwell and LACTIC Incorporated, it was like all the light bulbs in the house flashed on high. Together, we've been planning out VOX Bizarre, a place for strange voices to rise, visually and vocally. This two-week pop up shop is the first incarnation of VOX Bizarre as we look for a way to build a more permanent home.
What are some of the events that will take place there?
From its inception, we want to be a welcoming place for the community we serve, and open our doors to more than just retail. We're holding events to teach skills like mending and revamping old clothing so people don't have to buy more (Dec. 9), offering the space to be used as needed for a safe gathering space to speak and organize around important issues (Nov. 29 and Dec. 6), and holding larger pop-up shops so more local designers and makers can sell their wares (Fashion Frenzy, Dec. 3-4).
On Tuesday, November 29 we're working with leaders from BashBackNYC to see how we can take action here. On December 6 we're hosting a Standing Rock Fundraiser and winter gear/supply drive for the #NoDAPL Water Protectors. We're honored to welcome members of the East Coast Two Spirit Society to help guide us in what ways we can be most effective in solidarity.
How else are you including activism along with the fashion component?
The social justice aspect to the collective is extremely important, as it is driven by six queer individuals who want to help empower those around us, especially in the LGBTQIA2 realm. On each Tuesday of the pop up, we are opening the space to activist organizing, centering POC voices and ideas as we see how we as a community can help fuel anti-racist, anti-fascist, anti-colonial, anti-bigotry, etc. actions and movements.
VOX Bizarre runs from November 26 - December 10 at Rockwall Studios, 1080 Wyckoff Ave, Queens, NY. Check out the VOX's Facebook page for a list of events.