As February was LGBTQ+ history month, we wanted to highlight some of our favourite LGBTQ+ designers.
Even though, we believe members of the community should be acknowledged all year round, what better way to celebrate then to look at those that are creating history right now. Here are 5 designers and brands that not only avidly support LGBTQ+ , but are also members of the flourishing community themselves.
Rachel Berks, a member of the queer community, allows people to show their individuality and proudly present their sexualities and genders. With a range of gender non-conforming clothes, androgynous swimwear, and boldly printed slogan tees (such as ‘gender is a drag’), her garments can empower those in the LQBTQ+ community, as well as welcome them into the fashion world, without the constraints of commercial categories that most fashion retailers use. Desmond Napoles – otherwise known as ‘Desmond is amazing’- the first drag kid, can be seen sporting Other Wild merchandise on Instagram.
B. Anele, or ‘surprising health benefits’ on Instagram, is a “Southern, black, queer run art space for the advancement of intricate perception” (blue.rosegallery, 2019). A gender non-conforming artist that creates beautiful statement pieces, made up of various fabrics and garments that are sewn and tied together with hand painted patterns and prints. Here, fashion can be seen as a beautiful and inclusive creative outlet, with an outcome of original and trendy garments.
Minimalist, timeless and genderless. Wardrobe basics and sustainable clothing, that has been made with good intentions for both people and the environment. Photoshoots of men and women wearing the same/ similar garments, makes gender fluid fashion look natural and easy – like it should be. Stocked at Selfridges and no gender tabs on their website, this inspiring brand is accessible and can show other big retailers that gender non-conforming fashion is not a thing of the future, it is now, and it is do-able.
“Jacqueline Loekito label was established in 2018, focusing on sharing clothing from one wardrobe between men and women is her main vision. Pink is the main colour of her collection, as she wanted to popularise this colour for both genders” (Jacqueline Loekito, 2018). With an aim of creating an all-inclusive wardrobe for every gender, her pink website and playful styles show fun and happiness in fashion, leaving no place for stereotypes and judgement. The use of LGBTQ+ models and eye-catching mix of colours and silhouettes, give all individuals a feeling of inclusivity, and allows true self-expression amongst consumers and admirers.
Bulldozing toxic masculinity. This Spanish designer creates enticing collections, marrying traditional men’s tailoring, with classically feminine colours and trims, “a fusion of men’s tailoring techniques and feminine lines” (Palomo, 2015). A seemingly subtle but impactful twist on the norm. Refreshing and reimagining the male wardrobe for a much broader perspective on men, opening minds and persuading a re-think on the stereotypes that are set for boys. As the garments are stunning and easy on the eye, they allow the audience to question why certain clothes were ever restricted into category.
By Freya Fowler