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Getting New Blood Into Streetwear: Fly Girl, India’s First Sneaker & Streetwear Magazine For and By Women

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Streetwear and the sneaker culture around the world is nothing short of a brewing revolution, a cultural phenomenon that is writing the history of present-era fashion and streetwear’s influence on it. But what this culture has long lacked is a strong, prominent female presence, despite the abundance of female streetwear icons like Yoon Ahn, Cynthia Lu, Aleali May, Tiffany Beers, and even Rei Kawakubo. If streetwear is a cultural annex that is changing the way we shop and dress, why is it that womxn are excluded from the conversation? Well, thankfully (for streetwear), womxn aren’t waiting around the corner to get a chance at recognition; they’re commanding their own space and building empires in design, e-commerce, and media in the largely male-dominated space to shift the focus off and steer the attention towards female streetwear icons and their marked impact on the movement. FLY GIRL, India’s first-ever sneaker and streetwear magazine to be solely dedicated to women, aims at educating the present-day womxn of the lineage of female designers and innovators of sneakers and street fashion who have often been excluded from the conversation or not allowed the spotlight. We spoke with the Fly Girl herself, sharing anonymously what fueled the magazine, gender in streetwear, and its blueprint for the future. 

  1. Why was it important for you to launch a sneaker & streetwear magazine specifically for women? What was the inspiration/motive behind it?

A: Fly Girl is a compendium of the Women, the Shoes, and the Clothes from the sneaker and streetwear cultures of today, tomorrow, and yesterday. It’s a platform that aims to be the voice that not only assists but also empowers women in the streetwear space. It is through this platform that we look forward to building a community of women in the sneaker and streetwear space by recognizing the female forces that drive street culture around us and by educating the modern female streetwear enthusiast.

Well, if you look for yourself, there’s a lot of noise around ‘MEN in SNEAKERS’ but when it comes to women in this space, there aren’t many platforms available. More so, people recognize the popular faces such as Aleali May, Yoon Ambush, Melody Ehsani, whereas there are lots of women working behind the scenes- driving the streetwear culture. Not all of them get covered on various websites which is why there’s only a few who know of them. We aim to bridge that gap so that more and more people, especially girls, are aware of these not-so-popular icons! Again, as the number of sneakers-both in silhouettes and colourways-are increasing every season, we want to educate the female enthusiasts about those releases. 

Rei Kawakubo Rei Kawakubo, the Founder/ Creative Director of Comme des Garçons, is one of the most influential fashion designers. Being celebrated as an icon of modernity and having been regarded as the female mastermind that offered women clothes – not looking for man’s approval – yet comfortable and fashionable! The self-taught, avant-garde fashion designer has crushed the gap between high fashion and streetwear.

Source: Fly Girl

  1. How do you perceive gender with regards to the streetwear culture globally as well as in India? Do you think there is an imbalance in interest? If yes, why do you think so?

There is an imbalance for sure. That’s because streetwear and sneakers have always been a male-dominated culture from the start. More so in India, as traditionally, a woman is expected to wear ‘feminine’ clothes and heels rather than menswear and sneakers. Take, for instance, a platform for streetwear and sneakers – there are tens of thousands of platforms for men’s sneakers or knowledge per se, but the number of platforms for women specifically could be just a handful all around the globe- not to mention none in India so far! 

  1. What are the conversations you wish to initiate with Fly Girl?

A: The larger market doesn’t always speak for a woman – about what a woman wants when it comes to sneakers. A few years back, the scene was ’SHRINK IT AND PINK IT’. Now things are changing quite a bit and we want to be the medium through which the sneaker enthusiast is made aware of these changes! 

We aim to highlight new and upcoming releases, educational information about brands, sneakers, women, and campaigns aimed directly at the ‘women in sneakers’ community. But overall, as mentioned, we want Fly Girl to be a space for all the fly girls out there!

FLY GIRL | Entrepret

Yoon Ahn

Yoon Ahn, popularly known as Yoon Ambush, is a name we can’t forget when we talk about ‘women and sneakers’. She is the founder of AMBUSH, one of the coolest brands on the radar – when it comes to jewellery, clothes, and sneakers.
Source: Fly Girl

  1. Who are some of your female streetwear inspirations? Any from India?

A: Apart from all the oracles we cover on our page, all the women driving the culture, our inspiration is the everyday woman for whom sneakers are not a commodity, rather a piece of art! We are inspired by those regular women who love sneakers and streetwear just like us. Also, yes, it’s great to see the rising number of women in sneakers here in India.

  1. The magazine is very new. How was the process of bringing it to life? Any roadblocks you had to face?  

Well! This was something, you could say, brewing for a year although we never sat down and put a date next to it. But yeah, here we are, FINALLY! It’s a brand new magazine- 17 days old as of today- and we are merely setting up.

FLY GIRL | Entrepret

Tiffany Beers

Beers, spent 13 years with Nike, working as their Senior Innovator and Designer at Beaverton, Oregon. Her projects mainly traversed around the two most iconic silhouettes of all time: Nike Mag and Nike ‘Back to the Future II’ HyperAdapt 1.0, as well as Kanye’s first Yeezys.
Source: Fly Girl

  1. What would your advice be for younger women who want to start something that isn’t the norm, just like you started Fly Girl?

A: We saw this gap in terms of women in sneakers and aim to bridge it. We believe that’s how we also contribute to this culture. Our advice for the younger women would also be to come forward and fill the lull where they seem necessary. And while doing so, a vision and real dedication is a must. Maybe set up short term and long term goals for yourself and then JUST DO IT!

  1. What are your plans for the near future for Fly Girl? 

A: First and foremost, we are working on our website and the plan is to roll it out as soon as possible. Secondly, we want to reach out to a bigger audience, again, especially women. And we can’t thank you enough for covering our story and helping us reach more fly girls 🙂 But at large, we look forward to covering more stories of women driving the culture in the days to come.

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