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RESOURCE LIBRARY
Material that has helped inform my understanding of my Asian American identity, in some way or other.
    Non-Fiction
    Articles
    Fiction
    Poetry
    Films
    Music
    Actors & Comedians
    Magazines & News Sources
    Art Archives
    Digital Curators
    
Fashion
    Collectives & Orgs
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WHAT???
ARTIST ARCHIVE

 
 

Please email me at hardlyunamerican@gmail.com
with questions, recommendations for the archive or library, suggestions for collaboration, or other thoughts.

 

FASHION…

NorBlack NorWhite

WHAT IS THIS? New Delhi and Toronto-based NorBlack NorWhite is a clothing brand of handcrafted, traditionally-made but contemporarily-shaped Indian textiles. Co-founders Mriga Kapadiya and Amrit Kumar were born and raised in Toronto and conceptualized the luxury streetwear brand in 2009 when living together in Bombay.

WHY IS IT INCLUDED HERE? Every time I see an image of the NBNW squad effortlessly rocking fresh white sneakers with androgynous handcrafted ikat, I feel a weird sense of relief that the unique experience of a South Asian growing up in America has been given a home through fashion. They combine 90s R&B  aesthetics, Indian textiles, and androgynous Western shapes in a way that captures all the chaos and excitement and vibrancy and weird wholeness of growing up in two vastly different cultures. (For the record, the NBNW Instagram is perfect.)

Bombay Electric

WHAT IS THIS? This Mumbai-based shop is a platform for distinct fashion that combines aesthetics like “maharaja punk” and “disco shanti.”

WHY IS IT INCLUDED HERE? They curate a very unusual collection filled with that rare form of culturally-fused fashion that is contemporary, directional, craft and design-oriented, and distinguishably of South Asia. They also have a great Tumblr of fashion and lifestyle vibes that align with the clothing featured in their store.

Arpana Rayamajhi

WHAT IS THIS? New York City-based jewelry designer Arpana Rayamajhi brings her Nepali heritage and craftsmanship to each of her handmade pieces.

WHY IS IT INCLUDED HERE? According to her site, Arpana draws inspiration from “tribal/ethnic and pop cultures, Rock and Roll and Death.” That’s an unbeatable combination. The jewelry in this collection clearly shows those influences, with chokers, pendant necklaces, and long dangling earrings made of gorgeous handwoven beadwork, tassels, talismans, coins, and other traditional South Asian elements.

Babbu The Painter

WHAT IS THIS? Indo-Canadian Babneet Lakhesar, aka Babbu, uses photography with herself as the subject to critique norms in South Asian communities. She also meshes Eastern and Western fashion by painting a combination of traditional Indian art and pop art on leather, denim, and other pieces.

WHY IS IT INCLUDED HERE? Babe create pieces and curate an online personality that embraces, laughs at, honors, and pushes the narratives of diasporic belonging, South Asian gender politics, and more. I love how her sense of humor, confidence, and Indian background always interplay in her fashion, like in her handpainted “Bakwaas” denim jackets. She recently partnered with Maria Qamar (aka HateCopy) to make diasporic Indian women everywhere jealous.

Pinterest board: Western/Indian Fashion

WHAT IS THIS? Merely a shameless plug for one of my personal Pinterest collections, comprised of a variety of fashion that fuses Western and South Asian techniques, shapes and craft.

WHY IS IT INCLUDED HERE? I guess I am just slightly dismayed that only like 12 people follow this amazing board of mine.