New York-based fashion brand, Private Policy is pushing the boundaries on what it means to be a clothing company, using their styles and designs to ignite important conversations about culture and sustainability. Private Policy co-founder and creative director, Siying Qu, sat down with In the Know Style: Changemakers to discuss the unique goals of the brand, as well as the launch of their Spring 2022 collection.
When Qu started Private Policy with business partner Hoaran Li, the talented duo didn’t just want to break into the fashion world, they wanted to disrupt it. New York has plenty of clothing companies, but the founders of Private Policy wanted something more.
Private Policy has always sought to be at the forefront of progressive fashion, specifically when it comes to breaking down the gender walls that clothing brands have traditionally upheld.
“Really the biggest thing for us is to feel free,” Qu told In the Know. We started the brand at the very beginning to be a genderless brand. Why are we labeling clothes to a specific gender when people, especially young people, are not living with that boundary anymore? Let’s break that within fashion.”
As for the clothing itself, Private Policy prefers to design with a playful edge, giving the wearer ample opportunity to customize their look. The brand veers towards “conscious designs” that people can “play with,” and Qu loves that people who wear Private Policy can style it to their liking.
When Qu and Li are seeking inspiration for a particular collection, they sit down together, think of a particular relevant topic that interests and excites them, and build off of that.
“It’s not just about the look,” says Fashion photographer Shxpir Huang. “The brand is more about a voice. It’s almost like a media. It’s like they are talking about some issue for every collection. Like last season, they did this collection based on the history of Chinese immigrants in America.”
For their most recent collection, Qu was inspired by a photo of an amputee model walking out of the ocean. “She looked so beautiful I was like, ‘Oh my God she looks like Venus, like Aphrodite’ and [so] the whole collection [was] about Aphrodite,” said the designer.
As for the upcoming Spring 2022 collection, Private Policy took inspiration from a highly unique year which changed how many people lived and interacted within their environment.
“I think a lot really changed, or say, made us think after the year of quarantine, and that allowed us a lot of time to look more within,” explained Qu. “And that kind of brings us to the new collection with Spring 2022. We are looking at how plants in urban settings are influencing us.”
To highlight their Spring 2022 theme, Private Policy created a visual showpiece “to show people sustainability can be fun and creative,” according to Qu. “We found this new technique of melting plastic out of just a candle, that really makes a beautiful petal shape that’s so realistic, and really is the feeling we want that you get from nature.”
Private Policy is already at the front lines of fashion, but Qu has no plans on slowing down anytime soon.
“In five years we really hope Private Policy can become a bigger platform for people to discuss and discover different kinds of social topics, and [find] solutions for them, Qu told In the Know. And the clothing itself just becomes a medium of a part of that discussion.”