FashionLife & StyleNew YorkPride

The Original Kaftan by Kaftko is the perfect non-gendered, bear-friendly kaftan

The Original Kaftan by Kaftko is the perfect non-gendered, bear-friendly, femme-friendly, go-anywhere, do-anything modern kaftan. Perfect summer layer? Yes. Beach cover up? Yes.

Kaftko is the creation of New York fashion designer Oday Shakar, and his two founding partners Dana Quadri and James Adelman. Shakar has been a women’s couture designer for over a decade, but wanted to create something he could identify with as well as wear himself. As an Arab American gay designer, his lens is diverse. The kaftan represents his Iraqi roots, the graphic modern prints, his American upbringing.

He wanted to find a way to create something that represented all of that, as well as be a platform for social issues that are important to him and his co-founders such as LGBTQ rights, Black Live Matters, body positivity, and non-gendered clothing. The creation of Kaftko is a culmination of all this, with the ultimate goal of bringing more joy into people’s lives, especially in the middle of one of the most challenging socio-political climates. There is joy to be found in 2020, and it’s in The Original Kaftan.

“I’ve been wanting something like this for a long time – easy to wear, fun, joyful, and not limited by gender. I couldn’t find it – so I made it,” says Kaftko founder and designer, Oday Shakar. 

Check out beary New York actor, filmmaker and producer Matthew Principe sporting some stylish and PRIDE-ful kaftans from Kaftko in these amazing, colorful, fun photos from “The Drunken Photographer”, Matthew Baker

“I was feeling a bit stir crazy/stifled without being able to collaborate with someone in the same space. I’ve been a long-time fan of kaftans. When I discovered the new line from Kaftko and received my order, I absolutely loved them! They inspired me to contact The Drunken Photographer and have a photo shoot around Queens.” — Matthew Principe

“We shot around Astoria – along the East River and the Welling Court Mural Project. There are beautiful murals, which continuously change with new artists each year. One I’m particularly fond of is the Stonewall Inn mural with Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. It was a no-brainer to celebrate these trans women of color who were integral to the uprisings that occurred in 1969.” — Matthew Principe

The Limited Edition PRIDE Print Kaftan is now available for pre-order! It was created to celebrate and activate social justice and equity for the LGBTQ community. To help save Stonewall Inn, 50% of the proceeds from PRIDE sales will be donated to them!

Follow Kafto on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

Order at

Kyle Jackson

Kyle Jackson (He/Him) is Senior Staff Writer at Gray Jones Media, and additionally works as a writer, editor and theatre artist/actor. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, he studied at Dillard University, received a BA in Theatre from Morgan State University, an MS in Arts Administration from Drexel University, and completed the British American Drama Academy’s Midsummer in Oxford Programme in 2017. Having lived in Baltimore, the Washington, DC area, Philadelphia and New York City, he now resides and works in London, United Kingdom.