When X-girl exploded onto the scene in 1994 with a guerrilla catwalk, it was a subversive eye roll to the cultural mainstream. X-girl pushed back against the mainstream stereotypes that dictated how girls were ‘supposed’ to dress. Their agenda was freedom. Freedom to choose a style that didn’t restrict them. Freedom to disrupt the status quo. For DM’s wearers, the status quo might be a distant memory, but we know that the rebellion is ongoing. Every day. We talked to Atlantis Gandhi and Zephani Jong — two independent, alternative musicians who represent the inspiration behind the latest DM’s x X-Girl collaboration. We chatted about culture, finding an authentic style and what a ‘Girl’s Movement’ means to them.
Atlantis Gandhi is a queer singer/songwriter and producer based in London with mixed Nigerian, Indian and Scottish ethnicity. Musically and personally she’s outspoken and unflinchingly expressive — and makes a point to subvert expectations and misconceptions. Her music is inspired and informed by her cultural identity and her lived experiences.
Zephani Jong — better known as Zeph — is based in LA and creates music that provides a space for people to explore their feelings. During lockdown Zeph has been drawing to discover her own style, and she’s been inspired by her friends own musical creations to make sure she stays creative.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WEARING DM’S? WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST PAIR?
ZEPH: I didn’t have my own pair until the end of last year — if you can believe it. Growing up, I never really got to own brand-name stuff. Almost all my clothes were hand-me-downs or thrifted — but I remember wistfully eyeing the DM’s every time I passed them at the mall. So many of my friends had Docs — they looked so badass in them. I wanted a pair so bad.
ATLANTIS: My first pair was the iconic 1460 boot of course. Ever since I was young, I wanted a pair. Everyone I saw in them just looked so damn cool. I started wearing DM’s when I came out at music college. When I was younger, I used to restrict how I expressed myself — but ever since I came out as queer/gay, I don’t limit my fashion. Now I just wear whatever feels comfortable for me. I’m always changing up my look. One day I’ll mix and match. The next day a tracksuit. Then all black. Sometimes everything at once.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT DM’S x X-GIRL? WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?
ATLANTIS: This is an important collaboration for me. DM’s and X-girl both believe fiercely in self-expression, and they’re inspired by music and art. Knowing that both brands have a strong connection to music is incredibly meaningful to me. I’m unconventional, so seeing these two brands subverting the norm makes me feel empowered and validated. As someone who is always changing my look, the collection really feels like it caters to my style. There’s something for everybody there. I love wearing sliders to show off my odd socks — so I love the Strap Sandal. And matching that with X-girl oversized clothing — that’s a LOOK.