Perfect Indian prints cover bright celebratory garments, tailored in traditionally Western silhouettes. Bold hearts pepper coats, shimmering sequins on micro-bras and flowing skirts – this is the Mayyur Gitotra’s collaboration with Pride at Google. AIKYA is the name of his first luxury pret collection that signifies unity in Sanskrit. The designer’s palate easily evokes the unifying LGBTQIA+ pride colours and emotions. Showing at Āve, Soho, NYC today on Friday 2 June, amidst a set of historic images of queer people from India, this is sure to be a showstopper.
"I dedicate a love letter to my LGBTQIA+ family through the lens of my craft.” Shares Mayyur Girotra, Creative Director, who also revealed the collection pushed him out of his comfort zone perhaps with the introduction of new sexy micro-bras and Western silhouettes that are a departure from the couture Gararas, Kalidaars, Sarees and Lehengas that populate past collections. Also, the collection is a bold statement on loving your identity – another word that AIKYA can mean. Nonetheless, the collection holds onto special detailed surface manipulation that is traditional to India, using techniques such as gota, mirror, tilla, and resham. The full skirts covered in detailed sequin embellishment have a distinctly Indian feel too. In an interview Girotra illuminates, “we wanted to keep the language of the brand intact which is traditional embroidery, non-binary, gender fluid fashion”. Shilpa Maniar, Leader of the Indus Google Network in New York, set out Google’s intention, “to celebrate Pride with the South Asian community to extend the conversation beyond conventional boundaries.” A fashion show for pride is a great way to celebrate the wit and nerve of the community – beyond the usual street parades and protests. This is pride, elevated.

Same-sex marriage and civil unions in India continue to be debated, despite the community reaching 135 million making India the home of the largest LGBTQIA+ community. It was only in 2018 when a colonial-era law that punished gay sex with up to 10 years in prison was struck down. This collection stands up for gay rights in India and the world at a key time of debate. Girotra insists, “You have the right to love and marry whomever you want to.” Then goes onto explain, “Gender fluidity has been there since humanity. Vedas and shastras, too, talk about it.” AIKYA breathes beauty into the truth of queer expression, with an activist spirit.
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