An interview for Queer, ILL and Okay about Rebirth Garments

ABOUT

Rebirth Garments are designed and made by hand by me, Sky Cubacub. I am a QPOC (Gender Queer Person of Color) from Chicago, IL with life long anxiety and panic disorders. I first dreamed of this collection when I was in high school and couldn’t find a place where I could buy a binder as a person who was under 18, and who didn't have access to a credit card to buy one online. I’m especially interested in Rebirth Garments being accessible to queercrip youth and I’m working on creating a program for making free/reduced priced garments for people in need.

In my practice, the intensive handwork makes the process the most important part and gives me inspiration. Chainmaille has been the catalyst to every other medium that I excel in; all of the mediums I enjoy are obsessive and have repetitive patterns. It is the slow, thoughtful process that holds value and heals my mind. Through chainmaille, I have found my patience. For me, everyday is a performance where I bring my body as a kinetic sculpture into the consciousness of the people I interact with in passing and on a daily basis. I embody the spirit of Radical Visibility, and Rebirth Garments is my soft armor. I consider it armor because it has the power to give you the confidence and strength to feel comfortable in your first skin. I have been building myself this armor or protection, not against harm exactly, but as a way to give me courage. Chainmaille and Rebirth Garments are a prosthetic for the communication of my inner world. My body, my identity and my prosthesis are one cohesive being.

MISSION

Rebirth Garment’s mission is to create gender non-conforming wearables and accessories for people on the full spectrum of gender, size and ability. The line creates a community where all people can confidently express their individuality and identity. Our identity is that of QueerCrip, a politicized umbrella term that encompasses queer, gender nonconforming identities, visible and invisible disabilities/ disorders—physical, mental, developmental, emotional ect. In particular, our trans* and disabled communities have very particular clothing needs that are not adequately served by mainstream clothing designers. Instead of being centered on cisgender, heterosexual, white, thin people, Rebirth Garments is centered on QueerCrip people.

Rebirth Garments challenges mainstream beauty standards that are sizest, ableist, and conform to the gender binary. Instead, we maintain the notion of Radical Visibility, a movement based on claiming our bodies and, through the use of bright colors, exuberant fabrics, and innovative designs, highlighting the parts of us that society typically shuns. Through Radical Visibility, we refuse to assimilate and can create a QueerCrip dress reform movement.

 

Photograph: Ji Yang