The LBGTQ+ community has inspired fashion designers and shaped the industry for decades. In recent years, the fashion world has redefined gender norms and contributed to the development of queer fashion as a separate segment of the industry.
Today, members of the queer community can wear apparel that matches their gender identities and reflect their aesthetic views. Whether you are looking for haute couture pieces or mass-market clothes, you can find apparel that is right for you.
Traditional fashion sets body standards and rejects diversity; queer fashion does the opposite. LGBTQ+ designers strive to build their own queer universe where every community member will feel free and comfortable whatever body type they have.
Queer designers have a unique worldview and the perception of the beautiful and try to share it with the world. Their creations go beyond gender norms and industry standards – they celebrate inclusivity and diversity.
Definition: Queer fashion is all about clothes created by queer people and/or worn by queer people.
Fashion experts, celebrities, and ordinary people do love fashion when it's queer. Gender-free styles, unordinary cuts, and non-traditional color pallets – it's all we need in a modern fashion world.
Queer designers are one of the most prominent participants of the past fashion week. Their collections always make a lot of buzz whether they present dresses, T-shirts, socks, or underwear.
Prabal Gurung, Telfar Clemens, and MI Leggett are one of those LGBTQ+ designers who participated in the NYFWs and grabbed the attention of fashionistas from all over the world.
Just take a look at these dresses from Prabal Gurung's line Spring/Summer 2020! The attention to detail is stunning!
Prabal Gurung Spring/ Summer 2020 Collection. - I #NYFW pic.twitter.com/F43WMO0llI— IMONATION (@THEIMONATION) September 9, 2019
Global acceptance of LGBTQ+ is on the rise now, and modern people are getting more interested in wearing clothes designed by queer designers. This positive trend significantly facilitates industry growth. So we can expect that even more LGBTQ+ designers will participate in the coming fashion weeks.
More and more celebrities appear at red-carpet events wearing dresses and suits of queer-owned brands. They choose such clothing for its aesthetic and unique style.
What about LBGTQ+ participants of glamorous events? Today they are more confident about expressing their sex identity than ever before. They choose extravagant outfits to battle out for red carpet attention with the most popular celebrities.
Some LGBTQ+ celebs make it a goal to create dresses that promote a specific message or draw attention to a global issue. For instance, Nikkie de Jager, who identifies herself as transgender, designed a very special dress for Met Gala to honor American LGBTQ+ icon Marsha P. Johnson.
Nikkie de Jager pays tribute to Marsha P. Johnson at the #MetGala ! ?— Affinity Magazine (@TheAffinityMag) September 14, 2021
The “P” in Marsha’s name famously stood for “Pay It No Mind,” which is printed on Nikki’s dress.
Nikki aptly fits this year’s gala theme by honoring an American icon who pioneered LGBTQ+ rights. pic.twitter.com/6KCgvs3WYh
Fact: Queer vision of fashion appeals to all people, including gay-positive and gay-negative individuals.
The number of successful designers who belongs to the queer community is growing year by year. Here is a list of LGBTQ+ creators who are trendsetters and industry leaders. Each line and each collection they create win the hearts of millions with their unique style.
Willy Chavarria is one of the most influential designers in the modern fashion industry. Being a member of Latinx and LGBTQ+ communities, he promotes his unique vision through the menswear brand he created.
"The entire industry was built on making people believe we need to buy clothes to uphold a certain perspective of beauty. I think one of the ways in which fashion is evolving is to shift the context of what beauty is into a more substantive concept," Willy Chavarria wrote about his latest show "Uncut".
Chavarria strives to change the industry and demonstrate that men can look "hot" whatever body type they have. The models of his shows differ from all other models we typically see on New York fashion week runways.
For instance, the cast of his show "Uncut" included males of different types:
Hulking guard type
Hard femme type
The designs developed by Willy Chavarria is currently a top choice of queer celebrities from all over the world. If you take a look at the following tweet, you will understand why. This clothing is just a perfect option for creative self-expression.
Mahmood, a famous Italian singer and Eurovision Song Contest 2022 participant, has recently walked the Turquoise Carpet wearing pink trousers from the last Chavarria's collection.
Actually, everyone in #Eurovision is giving fashion— Uninspired to Dress (@TooUnispired) May 11, 2022
Here, for example, are Mahmood wearing Willy Chavarria and Blanco wearing Valentino#EUROVISION #ESC2022 #fashion #Valentino #willychavarrianewyork #mahmoodblanco pic.twitter.com/F7GXQSiBwg
Christopher John Rogers is a queer fashion designer of a new generation. His brand name and artistic style are associated with joy, volume, vibrant colors, and rainbow. Distinguishing features of his recent works are monochromatic silhouettes, unordinary cuts, and quirky proportions.
Here are two standout pieces from Rogers' Pre-Fall 2022 collection.
Christopher John Rogers Pre-Fall 2022 pic.twitter.com/mJYqmbAytR— runway fashion ? (@ravenstrut) May 7, 2022
Being a Black and queer person, Christopher uses his artistic expression to reshape the industry and design gender-free clothing. In the past few years, fashion leaders have widely recognized his efforts. His list of achievements includes:
Gossip Girl's reboot featured Rogers' runway show
LVMH Prize featured Rogers' works at The Met's Costume Institute exhibition
He received the CFDA Award for Womenswear Designer of the Year.
James Flemons is a Black, queer, and sexually-fluid designer who stands behind the unisex label Phlemuns. James designs a wide range of clothing, from stripy dresses and bulky trousers to backless T-shirts and sexy chaps. He launched his fashion label almost ten years ago and has grown it into a top-of-mind brand.
The philosophy of Flemons's brand is to create clothing for everyone. Fashion is a form of art, and it shouldn't be restricted by gender identity. Whatever your gender is, you can wear what feels right for you. Phlemuns is a synonym for inclusivity and free self-expression.
James finds inspiration in everyday life and various experiences. He says that sometimes he dreams up new collection ideas in his sleep. You can check his design works and Phlemuns' site or find photos of his models on Twitter.
guess who gagged? you — me for phlemuns ? pic.twitter.com/8iFySAJAZS— JACINDA (they/them) (@brokebackboys) October 3, 2021
While most designers who belong to queer community strive to develop collections for all genders, brands like Kirrin Finch focus on one specific niche of the queer fashion industry.
Laura and Kelly Moffat, the founders of the Kirrin Finch label, are a lesbian couple from Brooklyn. They create "menswear-inspired" outfits for females and non-binary bodies.
The main goal of Laura and Kelly Moffat is to design comfy apparel that fits customers perfectly and makes them feel confident. Kirrin Finch brand offers a wide range of sizes from 0-to 24 and uses all-natural fabrics. They don't sell women's dresses. Their main products are suits, blazers, shirts, pants, sweaters, and jackets.
Take a look at these top trending looks! ? They're in such high demand right now, and selling super fast! Grab your favorite piece before they're all gone! pic.twitter.com/W6N3c7vfCa— Kirrin Finch (@KirrinFinch) March 4, 2022
Chromat is a bodywear label that promotes inclusivity and diversity. Becca McCharen-Tran, a designer of this revolutionary label, has a mission to create swimwear and underwear for trans, nonbinary, and queer people who want to feel sexy in their own bodies.
"It's important that people realize that no color or fabric or cut is gender exclusive," says Becca.
Her shows are pretty unique and always attract lots of attention. The runway cast is always diverse in the sense of ethnicity, body type, lifestyle, and gender fluidity.
Here are a few models whose appearance on the shows made a splash: сurvy model Denise Bidot, hijabi model Kadija Diawara, the first female model with albinism Diandra Forrest, and pregnant Mela Murder.
Loved #Chromat's latest #NYFW collection, sultry & sexy AF. especially loved the #Cheetos chips bag which mite the best #fashion accessory. #fashionblog #fashionblogger #fashionweek #nyfw2018 #kaikazifashion #couture #luxury #style #couture #aw18 #AW18WAVVY #ChromatTEAM #luxury pic.twitter.com/SFWrEYK1zl— Kai Kazi (@kai_kazi) February 12, 2018
In 2019, Becca extended the range of sizes to XL-3X and created brand new designs for curvy sizes. The Chromat brand ran a 4-day fit test with over 100 participants to develop perfect sizing. The collected feedback helped them to design underwear that suits literally everyone.
Aaron is another great designer whose brand proved that genderless wear is worth to exist. Every dress he develops can be worn by anyone who finds it appealing, regardless of their sexual identities.
"Aaron Potts offers a different kind of chicness with his genderless collection: a magnificence and freedom in dress that is friendly and warm, with an approachable elegance," says Steff Yotka from Vogue Runway.
Aaron has recently presented his new gender-less fall/winter line that features maxi dresses, stripy trousers, and quirky hats. The mix of bright and monochromic colors and warm and cozy textures make the A.Potts brand stand out from the crowded fashion market.
Brooklyn-based designer Aaron Potts presents his genderless fall/winter 2022 collection for his brand A.Potts, called 'Skin Folk,' at #NYFW https://t.co/X6yFul3DDN pic.twitter.com/cAUgAITe8R— Reuters (@Reuters) February 12, 2022
The fashion of queers is something more than a fast trend and more than business. It's a philosophical concept that will grow and develop over time. It has its peculiarities that we should be aware of.
Queers are different. And they see this world differently. So it's pretty easy to distinguish their creations from those developed by designers who apply a heteronormative approach.
A designer, who creates a line for non-binary bodies, as a rule, has an open mind and high creative skills. He has a better understanding of what cuts and fabrics he should use to create a perfect fashion product and build a strong brand.
As we have mentioned above, shows of queer creators differ from traditional ones. The invited models typically have different gender identities, and their appearance goes beyond traditional standards. They always look attention-grabbing whether they are dressed in casual T-shirts or fancy tuxedos.
Fact: Queerness is a key to the development and prosperity of modern fashion. The more LGBTQ+ creators and models come to the stage, the more spectacular the shows are.
The vast majority of LGBTQ+ designers are eco-conscious people. They try to use only natural fabrics and manage their production resources wisely. So when buying apparel from an LGBTQ+ designer, in most cases, you buy a green product.
Tip: If you want to keep our planet green, you should make informed buying decisions. As an eco-conscious consumer, you should always check information about the product at the official site.
Almost every queer fashion brand promotes the same idea: you should accept yourself the way you are. And it's an important message! Let us explain why.
Since LGBTQ+ people tend to experience lots of stress and have low self-esteem, they are at-risk of developing mental health issues. To prevent these issues, they need to practice self-love and self-acceptance.
Every brand that provides queers with the opportunity to wear comfortable and stylish clothes simplifies the process of self-acceptance. When people understand that they can enjoy exploring their identities instead of chasing unrealistic standards, they feel less stress. And that positively influences their mental health.
The LGBTQ+ community greatly supports LGBTQ+ designers. And that's one of the main reasons why queer brands get popular fast. Queers help other queers grow, isn't it beautiful?
Thanks to creators like Christopher Rogers, Laura Moffat, and others, you can wear a dress with a quirky print or a cropped tank top any day you like. You don't have to wait for Pride Month to come – you can be yourself every day of the year.
Are you into queer dating and want to show your dates that you have good taste in fashion? Choose outfits from gender-inclusive brands, and you will make a positive first impression and probably even have sex on the first date.
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