by Stephen Garner

Inspired by the Stonewall Inn Riot, 50 years ago, Private Policy’s spring/summer 2020 collection is a call for “Comm-unity”, so we can overcome these challenges times and prevail with courage together.

After exploring the historical details of the Stonewall Riot in 1969, designers Siying Qu and Haoran Li realized that it was definitely not about rainbow identities, but a violent rebellion against suppression after years of discrimination by the status quo and the law. On June 29th 1969, Sylvia Rivera and Marsha Johnson, who were oppressed for their queerness and their skin color, were truly “pushed to the corner.” With nowhere to go, they decided to turn and fight back. It was instinct of survival and bravery. Their defiant spirit inspired their peers then and continues to resonate within us today.

The spring/summer ‘20 collection serves as a reminder for all today that the oppressed need to unify and stand up against the inequalities, even if it is the authority. Unity is not just about that fluffy love, it is also about consciousness and progression, through discussion and debating with the opponent. Instead of being afraid of confronting the powerful, we should be inspired by the Stonewall Riot, uniting to fight back.

The collection aims to liberate and empower its wearer to go out there and protest with their mind and positive impact, combining militant and activist friendly design details. Utility 3-D pockets, reinforced athletic style lines for movements, durable outdoor fabrics, and detachable harness bags, all are designed to allow the wearer to be ready for a protest anytime. In contrast, the colors of the collection are soft, which reflects the New York spring palette: cherry blossom pink, witch-hazel mellow yellow, and crisp park green, because Qu and Li believe the rebellious and bravery can be a daily mentality.