Sharmila Nair is a fashion designer from Cochin, a city in the southern Indian state of Kerala, and has taken inspiration from the LGBT community for her latest range of saris.
Nair was motivated after seeing a Facebook post about the Kerala government’s recent policy change in regards to transgender people which, according to Hindustan Times; “…ensures them equal access to social and economic opportunities, resources and services, right to equal treatment under the law, right to live life without violence and equitable rights in all decision-making bodies.”
The collection is for her brand Red Lotus and is called Mazhavil which is the local word for “rainbow” and uses Habli cotton and natural dyes.
After creating the range of saris, Nair reached out to Queerela, a local organisation who push for transgender rights, to find two models and was put in contact with Maya Menon and Gowri Savithri, who were understandably quite sceptical at first:
“They couldn’t believe that someone would approach them for modelling. They were scared and had questions about why we were so interested in taking them as models, whether our collection would even get sold and how it would affect our brand,” Nair told Mashable, “Yet, once we started they were thrilled.”
Check the range in the photos below: