Often, people don't think of fashion as a reflection of their sexual identity, but there are plenty of designers working to make clothes for LGBTQ+ communities. From sexy dresses and dazzling costumes at the Costume Institute to crisp shirts and tongue-in-cheek offerings, it's important to realize that the fashion industry has long been linked to LGBTQ+ culture. In addition, many designers are creating clothing for artistic expression instead of merely catering to the public's taste.
Many designers have taken on LGBTQ+ history in their collections, including Erdem, whose SS19 collection references Fanny and Stella. Other designers have drawn on the work of non-binary people in recent years, including Thom Browne, who will include graphic monochrome prints of long-term lesbian partner Radclyffe Hall. There's also a growing group of designers who are inspired by gay nightlife. This includes Flavnt Streetwear, a brand that gives back to the LGBTQ+ community by selling size-inclusive clothing and accessories. Founded in 2014, Flavnt is a gender-neutral clothing line that aims to provide quality clothing to all members of the LGBTQ+ community.
There are also queer-owned brands, such as Nicole Zizi and Peau De Loup. These brands have the ability to break gender norms in fashion, and they offer standout pieces like suit jackets and T-shirts. There's also the brand Official Rebrand, which uses discarded clothing to create new, fashionable pieces.
Other design houses have drew on the work of queer women in recent years, including Christopher John Rogers, whose collection focuses on color and old-school glamour. Brands like TomboyX, which was founded in 2014, aim to make a dent in the male-to-male fashion divide by creating clothing that fits men with penises. TomboyX has received $25 million in funding and has nearly three dozen employees. The brand also plans to expand its size range, so that more men with penises can wear their designs.
Another brand that creates gender-inclusive clothing is Dapper Boi. This brand is owned and operated by a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and offers T-shirts, sweatshirts, binders, and socks for all sizes. In addition, Origami Customs carries size-inclusive clothing, including size-inclusive lingerie. These designs are sold in a variety of sizes, from XS to 6X.
Other designers and labels that have taken on LGBTQ+ history in their work include Kim Jones, whose collections heavily reference the 1990s gay club scene. Erdem, whose work was heavily influenced by the Victorian cross-dressing duo Fanny and Stella, also pays homage to the past. He'll include graphic monochrome prints of the duo in his AW19 collection.
Other designers who have broken gender binaries in fashion include Claude Cahun, who has been influenced by Jersey-based women. He's also been referenced by Dior's Maria Grazia Chiuri. Despite his gender neutrality, he's also influenced by the work of Leonor Fini.
Other designers who are queer include Jannike Sommar, who is a lesbian fashion designer, and Ylenia Riniti, who creates exclusively menswear. Both designers are passionate about their work, and they take pride in their labels. They're also curious people.