Declaring BE DIFFERENT, BE YOU. BE VARYD the clothing line VARYD gave birth to ‘wearable art’ in June 2013. But this designer, who uses models of different shapes, sizes and colors is about so much more then unique couture and championing body types. The labels’ founders, Korean National Rydia and Korean-American Vanessa are both survivors of sexual and physical violence and through VARYD they have now established the South Korean Facebook group Disruptive Voices.
There is no denying that marketing fashion couture is often a pursuit often determined by the capricious whim of the public. But Disruptive Voices is attempting to make some real change using their fashion platform and reach. This’ community/movement’ is looking to “support, empower, validate, and further raise awareness (about gender issues)” in Korea and beyond, a much needed concern as Rydia and Vanessa explain.
“We are survivors and know there is a lack of communicative and safe support for people to come together (on this issue).” Vanessa says. ”In order to move forward, I felt that (for myself) having a ‘circle’ or safety was essential, if not life saving.”
Rydia explains the prevailing attitude of her home country and why VARYD established Disruptive Voices:
“The issue of plastic surgery and the obsession of it in Korea…shakes up values. Women are expected to become ‘perfect’ and young men are raised to value that. Women are no longer fellow humans, they are objectified. I worry about how this effects and harms the youth and how they value themselves and one another. There is (also) a stigma with reaching out for psychological support or therapy. People are concerned with how they are viewed and judged, this negatively affects potential self-security.”
The founders hope that Disruptive Voices will be a place of safety for those women (they are starting with women’ issues, but admitted during a recent CNN interview they are just as interesting in tackling mens’ as well) who can’t find support from “family, peers, or police,” and further more, who might indeed be ridiculed-or worse-for coming forward about the abuses they have survived or are still experiencing.
Find VARYD here:
And Disruptive Voices here: