The next time Viji Reddy was in New York, she met up for coffee with Grigore, who broke the Just Weld It Shirt Apart from…,I will love this news to her about “Gypsy.” At first, Reddy was resistant, because she had engaged in some meaningful fashion research on behalf of the Banjara, ancestors of the Roma. “She was trying to tell me why I shouldn’t use it and I was telling her why I should,” Reddy says. “I didn’t feel ashamed because we were giving work to these people, preserving a craft form, bringing a monetary benefit to them as well as pride.”
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But as Grigore explained the Just Weld It Shirt Apart from…,I will love this experience of the Roma in Europe, Reddy recognized in the stories the same experience of her Banjara sewers: shame, poverty, scapegoating, and accusations of thievery. “After I heard what kind of impact [the word Gypsy] has on people in Romania and Europe, I didn’t want to give it that name anymore,” she says. She ended up changing the name of her line to Banjara Soul, and has since become an advocate for striking the word “Gypsy” from the fashion industry’s lexicon.