Indya Moore doesn't self-identify as an activist. It's a label the 26-year-old model and actress flat-out rejects, going as far as to push back against the media outlets that try to label them as such.
Moore, who goes by both they/them and she/her pronouns, tells PAPER that community work and informational reposts isn't a career path — for them, it's always been about self-preservation. There's no option other than to fight back, visibly and aggressively, against the systems that made it hard for Moore to survive and get to where they are.
"If I have the power to do that, in some way, shape, or form, I want to change it because I experienced what it's like," Moore explains. "It's not an occupation for me. I'm not choosing to be an ally. I am the people that I'm advocating for and that I'm fighting with. Our struggles are aligned."
Everything Moore does is an act of love and resilience, intentionally taking up rightful space as a queer, trans, nonbinary person living in rigid systems. Whether it be standing in solidarity with children in Palestine or creating a thoughtfully inclusive collection with an American label like Tommy Hilfiger while benefiting charities close to their heart.
Inspired by the beating heart of the Bronx alongside close friends and creative collaborators, the Tommy x Indya capsule collection crafts a safe space for everyone to shop. Stylish and comfortable polo shirts are paired with accessories, footwear and jewelry reimagined by Moore — a personal tribute to the late Aaliyah, a fashion icon for the POSE star.
PAPER sat down with Moore to discuss how this collection isn't just fashion — it's a celebration for all.
What did it mean to you to shoot this collection in the Bronx, aligning your borough with what this collection stands for?
The Bronx is where I grew up and that's where I was familiarized with Tommy Hilfiger. I wanted to connect that presence, since the Bronx is always left out of so much. People who come up leave the Bronx — myself included. I want to make sure that the Bronx isn't just dismissed as the more ghetto borough or the messier borough.
How does this collection fit into the important work of trans visibility and the larger framework of queer visibility and Black femme visibility?
That is what it is. Creating this capsule from the beginning, without gender in mind, I didn't want that to be a component of thought in how people were choosing clothes for themselves. I didn't want it to be gendered because that's what fashion has trained us to do when we shop. I wanted shopping to be a safe and convenient experience for queer and trans people, especially for youth, especially during this time as young people are being vilified in these really violent, systemic ways. This is one way we can push back.
How involved were you in the design process of reimagining Tommy Hilfiger staples for this collection?
I was imagining everything that we created from the foundation of how Aaliyah represented Tommy Hilfiger. I wanted to bring her back in that way. The way that I connected to her and this brand, she was a big part of me conceptualizing fashion. We wanted to create something that people could be confident in, feel comfortable, and good and beautiful. Usually in fashion, if you want to look good, you got to be uncomfortable, so I didn't want this fashion to be painful.
As co-designer, how does this collection tell your personal story and what did you want to achieve by working with Tommy Hilfiger?
The whole creative process was nostalgic. When I was younger, some of the ways that I was able to be creative and expressive visibly, outside and at home, I didn't really have the space for that. It wasn't safe. I couldn't wear a rainbow belt or different things that had direct representations to queer identity. When I was younger, I had the most trouble with my comfort around shopping. If there was an area that I wanted to shop in that people didn't think that I was gender appropriate, they may treat me like an intruder or something, or that I'm doing something wrong. That anxiety is just as horrible. It makes stopping feel like survival and I want people to be able to thrive.
"I was imagining everything that we created from the foundation of how Aaliyah represented Tommy Hilfiger."
What was it like working with Chella Man, Gia Love, Pigeon and the rest of the cast for the campaign, and how did that enhance the collection's overall story?
They all brought really, really really beautiful creative elements and expressions to the way that they modeled the clothes. They literally made it theirs. Pigeon is my best friend. It was just really beautiful to see them bloom in front of the camera and take up space as an intersex person. I grew up knowing Gia Love, she was one of my first trans friends I met back in this community center called the Bronx Community Pride Center. Gia Love was one of the first people that I've seen in the ballroom. Chella is so silly and so kind, and it was really beautiful to connect and share space with them.
I am so grateful for everyone trusting me and giving me a platform for leadership in this role. I wanted to do as much as I could, right by my community as possible and by the other demographics of people that are marginalized. I'm so grateful to Tommy for trusting me with that, and for being patient with me in all of the areas where I was learning and for working with me, and all of the areas where they've benefited learning from me, as well.
The TommyXIndya capsule will be available beginning July 13th on tommy.com in the U.S., Brazil and Europe as well as through select retail locations globally.
Photography: Myles Loftin
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