“A brand that’s considered cool shouldn’t be one that’s fundamentally excluding people,” says Cassidy George, the artist behind Renegade NYC—part unisex clothing line, part zine, and part street art campaign.
“You really do have to fight to represent a brand that could give the middle finger to anybody,” says George from the window-side perch in her New York apartment, which was once Andy Warhol’s storage unit. An ardent fan of streetwear, she often feels alienated from the culture around it.
George also notes a spirit of sexism that lingers behind the clothing racks. “I’ve known girls who haven’t been sold hats in stores because they were girls,” she says. “I think we should try to redefine what we consider cool in terms of brands: things can be interesting and niche without marginalizing people.”
Renegade NYC, George’s foray into streetwear design, is a natural progression from her own feminist zines and street art campaigns, which explore ’80s New York DIY culture and the riot grrrl movement of the ’90s. “I printed my first zine at my university library, and I left it on every newsstand; I left it in public restrooms,” she says. “I didn’t even care; I left it everywhere I could. If you have something to say, just go out there and say it.”
Click through the gallery for Renegade NYC’s Gif Guide on how to cut the S*&% out of your t-shirts!