RawThreads on genderfluid fashion and why it's cool to be you
DIVA speaks to Nikki Baker, the person behind genderfluid fashion brand RawThreads
RawThreads, a genderfluid urban clothing brand, was created with non-conformists firmly in mind. Set up by 28-year-old Nikki Baker, the brand aims to fill a gap in fashion for genderfluid individuals, as well as to raise awareness, build confidence and unite all who believe in being different. DIVA caught up with Mancunian Nikki to find out more about the progressive clothing line.
DIVA: Who else is behind RawThreads?
Nikki Baker: Just me! Nikki Baker, a gender fluid lesbian and graphic designer from Manchester. Increasing pressure is put on people of all ages to conform to certain expectations or to look a certain way and I want to say it’s OK to be a tomboy, it’s OK to be androgynous, it’s OK to be feminine or masculine, despite your birth assigned gender or however you identify. Through RawThreads, I’d like to represent the grey areas of “gender". To be a voice for the non-conformists.
Where did the idea for RawThreads come from?
From a young age, I always wanted to customise my own clothing, I’m not talking adding sequins or badges, but the garment physically. Either because it didn’t fit quite the way I liked or I just thought it could look better with a slight change. We all deserve to be uniquely us and be comfortable and confident, not just in what we wear, but in how we present ourselves. My aim is to spread that message and extinguish gender norms, helping people to be confident in who they are, not who society wants them to be. The name Raw is actually also the name of my graphic design business, RawDesign, as well as RawPhotography (although the latter is just a hobby). I wanted a name that suited all three of my passions. My main career is as a graphic designer, completely self-taught. I followed no rules and aimed always for the unorthodox. Similarly, RawThreads aims to divert from the rules and the norms and stand out, giving confidence to individuality and giving pride to uniqueness.
Who is Raw for?
Essentially, RawThreads is for everyone. The ethos of the brand is to "be yourself", whoever you are and however you want to be; and be proud and confident of that. I want people to embrace their uniqueness and capture a new and innovative clothing range that can be worn by anyone. RawThreads transcends gender boundaries and respects everyone as individuals, as people. I hope to go on to develop revolutionary custom garments that are specifically made to break the societal norms of “gender", clothes that are made for “people" not genders. Many gender-fluid clothing brands out there are either very masculine (aiming at the female market), or completely shapeless. Being non-gendered does not take away body shape, but body shape should not define a social gender. I like “guy" boxers but the extra material at the front, made for those with… “extra", is not necessary for myself. This is just one example of something I would love to develop in the future.
Why did you decide on an “urban streetwear” style?
I feel like urban streetwear was the best description for the current product range; the style is pretty adaptable as such that the same garment can look totally different depending how one chooses to wear it, for example, oversized and loose or skinny and fitting. Both urban wear and streetwear were born organically, so to speak, they were not developed in the petri dishes of the fashion industry to be pushed out and absorbed by society without conscious free will. They were born from the rebellious subcultures, by some of the original rebels of both fashion and of society.
What have people said about Raw?
The response I’ve had has been fantastic, people are thrilled with the ethos and message and love the overall look of both the brand and the designs themselves. People absolutely love the ideas and that a brand is seeking to fill a much needed gap in the market.
Where do you hope to see Raw in the future?
I would like to see Raw grow into the brand that fits everyone. The place you go for your perfect and unique shape, and the brand you want to wear to feel proud, confident and make that statement that you are the only you! I’d like to engage with a diverse group of customers ranging from young to old, every shape and size and most importantly every unique and individual style; a place where everybody can feel welcomed, catered to and confident. RawThreads will be a store without “male and female” sections.
Find RawThreads at raw-threads.co.uk and get 20% DIVA discount with code DIVA20
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