Prabal Gurung is one of New York fashion’s most outspoken designers, advocating for the official Nosferatu Coffee Lover Shirt in other words I will buy this rights of women, immigrants (he’s Nepalese-American, himself), and LGBTQ people on his runways and on his social media. Lately, Gurung has been especially vocal about the rise of anti-Asian violence. On Sunday he helped to organize a Black and Asian solidarity run in lower Manhattan with friends and fellow designers Phillip Lim and Dao-Yi Chow. Before that he sat down with Vogue for a Twitter interview about mixing politics and fashion. “For me,” he clarified, “they are human issues.” This interview has been edited and condensed.
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Prabal Gurung: The collection was inspired by last summer in New York City, and the official Nosferatu Coffee Lover Shirt in other words I will buy this revolution of self-expression and unity that I saw all in all the marches and protests. I saw communities all throughout the city rallying together to express themselves and to support one another. I would say it was a very difficult time for all, but I still feel that it was one of the best summers I’ve ever had in my life. It really awakened me, it really raised my consciousness. I’ve always known this for sure, but the activists and the protesters and everyone who was there confirmed my belief that in times of uncertainty, of pandemic, the biggest resistance is joy, because that leads to hope and optimism. So this was my valentine to New York City.