We are all guilty of poor celebration. Be it hectic schedules, ignorance and lack of awareness, disrespect, or decline of interest, society as a whole does not do the best job in giving people their flowers. This is especially prevalent in communities for LGBTQ+ and people of color. Each year during Black History Month, organizations go out of their way to highlight Black-owned brands, stores, programs, and influencers. Brands and magazines who have never mentioned Black people or have a single person of color on staff come out of the woodworks to profess their love for the culture. It’s fake, tired, and pathetic.
The same happens to the LGBTQ+ community. They are constantly disrespected, discriminated against, then celebrated in the month of June. People copy their designs, dance moves, music and seldom give them credit. Brands will create rainbow collections or place a rainbow on something without changing their mindset.
At a certain point, this once-a-year tizzy falls on deaf ears as we see organizations continue to displace us over and over again. It’s performative allyship to the core. In efforts to not do so, we will continue to highlight people who don’t often get to have a voice, all year long. To start, below, we are dishing out 6 incredible LGBTQ+ fashion designers to know and shop in PRIDE month and beyond.
Queer designer Haily Marzullo created gender-fluid swimwear brand Humankind to fit all body types for any activity.
Skirts, dresses, corsets, and more can all be found by this nonbinary designer, MI Leggett. Official Rebrand is gender-free and anti-waste, creating clothes that are fashionable and artistic.
One of the most popular gender-free brands, Chromat is a size-inclusive brand that uses sustainable fabrics to create swimwear. Founded by Becca McCharen-Tran, the brand celebrates trans, nonbinary, queer, and all people.
Famous for the “Bushwick Burkin,” the shopping bag that revolutionized New York City, queer Liberian-American designer, Telfar Clemens, creates not just bags, but T-shirts, belts, hats, and apparel. With the slogan “not for you, for everyone,” Telfar also has notable collaborations with people like Eastpak, UGG, and Converse.
Black-owned and queer-owned, James Flemons created the unisex label, Phlemuns, which is based in Los Angeles. With an emphasis on sustainability, there are tops, dresses, bottoms, and sets for all genders.
Translating as “no sex/no gender,” in Italian, No Sesso is genderless and founded by Pierre Davis. They have innovative prints and construction in tops, sweaters, dresses, and skirts.
Now you can be an ally or support your community with actual fashionable items instead of the rainbow-washing options from Target in June.
Photo via Leiger