At this year’s digitized NYFW, Private Policy’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection explored what it means to be ‘beautiful.’ Using Aphrodite—the ancient Greek goddess of beauty—as their primary source of inspiration, the brand reinterpreted her symbolic meaning for the modern age. Rather than focusing on Aphrodite’s association with unattainable beauty standards, Private Policy has humanized the goddess through an all-inclusive collection.
To celebrate the beauty within diversity, the digital presentation featured muses with unique qualities. In particular, Marsha Elle, an amputee and the Playboy playmate for April 2020, and Yvesmark Chery, a successful freelance model who embraces his vitiligo. Likewise, the collection challenged traditional notions of beauty, encouraging people to look within themselves and embrace self-love.
As we’ve seen in the past, Haoran Li and Siying Qu, Private Policy’s creative director duo, are not afraid to make socio-political statements through their designs. Whether they’re challenging Asian stereotypes or spreading awareness about enslaved fishermen in South East Asia, their clothing is a catalyst for meaningful discussions.
To showcase the beauty of their muses, the collection featured clothing designed to flatter every body type imaginable. Using flowing silhouettes and gentle fabrics, they captured the romantic spirit of Aphrodite in each piece. Comforting colors like sage and lilac contributed to the relaxed vibe. In contrast, light fabrics—like the sustainable, lyocell jersey they used for tank tops and wrap skirts—created a gentle ease of movement.
Urban streetwear details contrasted with these ethereal colors and fabrics. Keeping in line with Private Policy’s signature style, there were harnesses, chains, zips, and mini handbags. These contemporary details added another dimension to the monochromatic ensembles. On top of that, the collection is perfectly utilitarian. The inclusion of functional pieces like relaxed joggers, hoodies, and jackets (especially the black vegan leather trench coat) make this collection extremely accessible.
Private Policy’s showpiece was their recycled CD sash: a hand-cut accessory linked together by metal rings. Made from an iridescent material, the sash reflects a rainbow of color. Perhaps, the spectrum of color parallels the multitudes of beauty within everyone. It’s an impressive piece capturing the spirit of the entire collection.
For centuries, Aphrodite’s beauty was believed to be out of human reach. Yet, Private Policy’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection—with its diverse range of muses and universally-flattering silhouettes—revealed how her inner power was within us all along.