Peregrine Honig Starts Trans Clothing Line, All Is Fair

All Is Fair in Love and Wear
Raquel Willis

For a trans or gender-nonconforming person, finding comfortable and stylish clothing is no easy task. Typically, clothing manufacturers and designers don’t take into account the wide array of body types in the world. Acclaimed artist Peregrine Chandra Honig is setting out to remedy that problem with her new clothing line, All Is Fair in Love and Wear, which specifically caters to her longtime trans and gender-nonconforming customers.

All Is Fair in Love and Wear Kickstarter Campaign

Thanks for all the enthusiastic support for our new line of “middlewear” for transgender folks. We are proud to be able to take what were specialty items in our little shop and share them with our transitioning friends all over the world. We are 1/3 of the way to our Kickstarter goal! Please, if you think what we are attempting to do is worthwhile, consider sharing this video, or better yet, help us fund the project. Our donor rewards are beautiful! Check them out -> http://kck.st/1FjRxu3

Posted by All Is Fair in Love and Wear on Friday, September 4, 2015

We got a chance to chat exclusively with Honig and hear how she came to start this revolutionary clothing line.

Honig: I grew up in San Francisco in the Castro with my mother. And my father was in Project Artaud. I don’t remember not being an artist. My earliest drawings, which I did when I was two or three, were published. I’ve always been interested in how people tell a story with their body and I’ve always been interested in gender identity and how people transition in their life in one way or another. I opened up Birdies in 2003 in a 100-square-foot space, and the neighborhood, because of artists and native people, developed around it. I was also on the second season of the Bravo show Work of Art: The Next Great Artist.

The way I got on the show is really funny. I was in Miami to buy some suits for Birdies and I was staying at my friend’s condo. I applied to audition and I had just come out of a residency in New York. I had a handler who was really advocating for me and I got it. The show was filmed in New York City and it really opened the door for me as an artist. I’m friends with most of the people on the show, but it was a crazy experience. I got to meet Sarah Jessica Parker, Simon Cowell, and all these interesting people. I also think whenever you put yourself out there, you don’t want to mess up. That's how I feel about All Is Fair.

 

#lithography #hoteldrawings #heyheybeignet #rose #stone #red #peregrinehonig

A photo posted by Peregrine Honig (@peregrinehonig) on

Birdies is almost 13, and it’s kind of like my day job, and it allows me to travel and meet with designers, and I started to get a lot of transgender customers. It’s always been fairly easy to get garments for trans women and larger sizes. With things like comfortable binders for my female-to-male customers, I couldn’t believe what was available. My friend was transitioning and he showed me what he was wearing and it looked horrible. One of the designers who has been working with me since he was 16 told me he had all these patterns he had made and we shared ideas and made it happen. I also worked with a longtime designer, Laura Treas, and her niece, Miranda.

I believe most of my business will be online. I’m hoping to partner with Jennifer Nehaus — she’s been great as a stylist for the trans community and she’s started teaching these Emily Post classes. I’m hoping it can be a workshop space and a space where people can feel safe and have a micro residency to bring people into Kansas City. It is conventional in the sense that it has nice lighting and a crisp and clean look. We want nice tables for pottery-making classes or something fun.

I don’t really come at things from the most academic way — I opened up an underwear store as an installation that became successful. Everything is a learning curve, even learning about this really important conversation. I’ve had to seek out people who are a lot more educated than I am. Not even on just a personal level, but on a political level too.

It’s hard because this is not my story, so it’s important for me to be careful and aware. The fact that I have these resources and I’m in Kansas City and the possibility I could produce something to help young trans people feel comfortable is really awesome. I’m also working with the Kansas City Care Clinic, the second oldest free health clinic. I’m working on care packages for kids leaving the foster care system who are trans, to get a care package, a toothbrush, a way to get healthcare, a bus map, and other things so they can feel taken care of as they enter the world.

For us in Kansas City, we just lost two trans women this summer. It just shows the importance of taking care of this emerging and vulnerable community. I would like to do that.

 

#tbt

A photo posted by Peregrine Honig (@peregrinehonig) on

There’s a couple of compression garment companies, but they aren't built for trans bodies. If I can get my Kickstarter rolling then I can get them in colors. I really want us to be more expressive with more custom colors and not a shameful medical color. Most of these pieces can only be made from large reams of fabric. I think it could be more of a celebration that just white, black, and khaki. I’m hoping with a little bit of style, grace, and a lot of collaboration we can produce something that is attractive and handsome. The next step is to supply garments for male-to-female trans people that are beautiful. So I’ve been talking to a company called Chrysalis so that I can help them have their parts where they want them to be.

I’ve always liked lace. It’s the material of sex workers, brides and babies. My trans guy friend was like, "I want a lacy packer." People are christened in lace; when they die they’re buried in lace. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, trans or cis. There are certain fabrics that are beautiful and comfortable for everyone. Silk is gorgeous. A really high-quality cotton feels really good.

It’s about feeling good and looking good. It doesn’t matter, if your underwear is uncomfortable, you’ll have a bad day. If your first layer doesn’t fit you comfortably, you’re probably going to have a worse day.

It’s about how you feel at work and how you feel in the context of how everybody else feels. I’ve been able to give these pieces to trans boys to try on and they said it wouldn’t work because it was too comfortable, but that’s a shame.

I definitely would like to develop this new venture into a non-profit. While I think All Is Fair as a brand could be really successful, I feel that we also have a strong community of people around us. It would be awesome to have a place that doesn’t just sell garments, but to help people feel good and learn things. I’m hoping we have the new website up in November.

Hopefully, the Kickstarter will work and we have most of the expensive things in place like fabric. It’s also about finding the correct models. Right now we have four binders in two different colors. I’m hoping the tuckers are a little faster. We also have some waist trimmers that we’re trying to make super proportionate. It’s really important for me to say I’m not the expert. Everyone has a different opinion on how they want to be addressed and respected in public. Maybe Birdies set me up to provide for a group of people who are just as stylish and maybe more. But I also want them to feel as good in public as they do in private.

A lot of celebrities came out during this project, and it could’ve made it harder or easier. It could’ve made it look exploitative of what’s going on right now, but I really hope I haven’t seen my models yet. The more people I can ask to participate in this project the better, but maybe Viktor Belmont. He would look good in some of these garments.

Pride is the ability for me to do and create things that I hope will remain in good stead after I’m gone. We only have so much time on the planet, so all you can do is use your time on earth to leave something interesting and a beautiful legacy!

All Is Fair in Love and Wear launches soon. Until then, donate to Honig’s Kickstarter and check out their Facebook page for updates!

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