march 28, 2024 Volume 002
Image item
Moon tides— 
Inspired by the Moon and Earth's gravitational dependency on each other, much like all us moving through this world. 
I always wondered why brands failed to speak about geopolitical events, financial crises, and global happenings. Whether it's the US' regression on reproductive rights, the Black Lives Matter movement, the COVID pandemic and our government's subsequent failed response, to the Ukrainian war, much of these events have influenced the day-to-day business operations at Lilith, beginning with China's response to COVID. 
Our first production run interrupted by factory shutdowns in China - a single case of COVID would force the closure of a city and in turn, factories. At the time, there were no skeleton teams to keep production going - understandably so. We also paid an insane premium for air freight costs. In early 2023, our factory in Portugal faced slowdowns due to the war in Ukraine. Fuel costs and other energy commodities were at an all time high, slowing down our Italian suppliers' transport of components across EU borders. Portugal as a country saw an overall decrease in footwear production due to global economic recessions. The influence of geopolitics and foreign policy is very core to Lilith's business and why it's always top of mind.
But despite the gloom, something beautiful emerged these past few years, beginning with COVID lockdown. I started sharing a bit more about the Lilith journey on my personal Instagram stories including our factory visits and mundane, everyday things, like films and shows I was watching, music I was listening to, random article shares, and so many of you would respond and share your own recommendations! When it was safe to do so and because we didn't have a physical store, I would offer to meet folks at a coffee shop in BK or Queens, with 2 pairs to try on for size. Many of you eagerly took up the option, chatted for hours about the brand and founder journey, and have since become friends and the best brand ambassadors. 🤍
My hope with Moon Tides is to expand the community built over private DMs and share more openly about what influences us as a brand. Lilith is an exploration of all the intersections of fashion, art, architecture, identity, geopolitics, of all the high and lows of life, that undoubtedly draw us together, much like the moon's pull. 🌕🌊
Shoes On. Eyes Open. 
weekly highlight—
Conceived by Two Odd, a creative studio and an online magazine, The Identity Potluck is a series that explores how creatives of multi-cultural heritage navigate their identity, particularly their understanding of representation through food. The first Identity Potluck focuses on Fathima Mehreen, a Malayali-Muslim creative producer and photographer living in Dubai. 
I saw these gorgeous photos being shared on Instagram for a few days before I realized Two Odd had published an interview-photo essay on their site. 
Fathima Mehreen: The place I call home: There’s no ‘place’ I call home really. I think there are specific people, music and foods that give me a sense of what home is.
eXPLORE MORE of fathima's story here
Having just returned from a 4 month trip to Sri Lanka where I spent a majority of my time on our ancestral theevu (தீவு) or island of Nainativu, I couldn't help but relate to Fathima's story. Growing up in Queens with no Eelam Tamil Diaspora community and at the time, no connection to my family in Kerala, my identity was shaped by the rich and vibrant cultures that made up Queens, particularly through food. I'll be turning 38 later this year and I'm still exploring and navigating my identity, some of which has come to light through building Lilith NYC. Funny enough, I was recently asked to contribute a short essay for a zine, about the re/envisionment of South Asian identity. I decided to share a bit of my Queens upbringing and connection to food. 
A snippet below and some photos from home in Nainativu and of us kids dining at a long gone, local Chinese seafood restaurant, in Elmhurst, Queens. The photo of my brother, holding his chopsticks in his ridiculous cowl neck sweater, while staring at the waiter, always makes me laugh.  😂
Both my parents enjoyed trying new cuisines so while lunches consisted of all the delicious curries my mother had prepared, dinners were more often than not, take-out. Fragrant goat biryanis from the Pakistani spot around the way, the most tender beef rendang from a Malaysian eatery, that still stands today, to the spiciest of noodle dishes from the OG Thai spot in Elmhurst – Jaiya Thai. Mummy, who has a knack for replicating dishes by taste, would bring home recipes from her co-workers, all of whom were Caribbean immigrants, which meant we also enjoyed jerk chicken and oxtail with coconut rice, slow-braised chicken alongside arroz con gandules and maduros, the list went on.
Priya Guns is a Tamil-Canadian actor and writer previously published in short story anthologies, gal-dem, Spring magazine, and anonymously in the Guardian. She is a Creative Writing graduate from Kingston University. Your Driver Is Waiting is her debut novel.
Damani is tired. Her father just died on the job at a fast-food joint, and now she lives paycheck to paycheck in a basement, caring for her mom and driving for an app that is constantly cutting her take. The city is roiling in protests–everybody’s in solidarity with somebody–but while she keeps hearing that they’re fighting for change on behalf of people like her, she literally can’t afford to pay attention.    

Then she gives a ride to Jolene (five stars, obviously). Jolene seems like she could be the perfect girlfriend–attentive, attractive, an ally–and their chemistry is off the charts. Jolene’s done the reading, she goes to every protest, and she says all the right things. So maybe Damani can look past the one thing that’s holding her back: she’s never dated anyone with money before, not to mention a white girl with money. But just as their romance intensifies and Damani finally lets her guard down, Jolene does something unforgivable, setting off an explosive chain of events.
I had read reviews of Your Driver is Waiting last year but only came across a physical copy of the book during a trip to New Paltz this past weekend. Priya Guns, inspired by A. Sivanandan, a race and class intellectual, and even the film Taxi Driver, tackles themes of capitalism, racial discrimination and class consciousness as it relates to immigrants and the exploitive rideshare economy. A must read.
grab a copy from penguin random house 
     Food crawl anyone?
Eye-ing the spring ready Anga Remix dress by our friends at the øther
Anatomy of a Fall, winner of the Palme d'Or, is now streaming on Hulu
     Sandra Hüeller is really brilliant in it! Bonus Vanity Fair profile on her here.
Spring cleaning and stocking up on our favorite notebooks by woman-owned brand Appointed & Co
     I'm a grid-lined notebook gal myself!
Image item
In this episode of the Granta Podcast, Brandon Taylor, author of Real Life (2020), Filthy Animals (2021), and The Late Americans (2023), delves into his thoughts about naturalism, the future of fiction, and his affinity for the French novelist Émile Zola.
I discovered Brandon's work a few years back. He had just published his first novel, titled Real Life (2020), a semi-autobiographical, coming-of-age novel about a young, queer Black man, moving from his home in the South to the Midwest, to pursue a doctoral degree. What struck me about Brandon, compared to so many other authors, was how open he was in what influences and shapes his writings. He maintains an amazing substack called sweater weather with well over 60 essays that often has me cracking up. 
This email does not contain affiliate links— we share just because we love <3
If this email was forwarded to you, please subscribe here.
Copyright © 2024 Lilith NYC All rights reserved.