Pride Month is a wonderfully expressive time for fashion. With the multitude of Pride marches going on around the country this month, it’s time to break out the shiniest, brightest pieces imaginable. Rainbow stripes, sequins, and glitter are all in order to celebrate with the LGBTQ+ community. But while June is high time to celebrate inclusivity, we’re jumping for joy to highlight those in the fashion industry who treat every month like Pride Month. These designers and brands continue to move this sometimes archaic industry forward by actively making space for everyone, and they deserve to be dutifully celebrated.
Fashion’s understanding of gender identity and sexuality has certainly come a long way, so it’s exciting to finally see luxury houses like Burberry making this community more visible than ever. But there’s an even lower number of designers who are going deeper and making inclusivity a top priority both inside and outside their businesses. These are the names we feel are important allies. Sure, we could feature the designers who we think are the best champions of this community, but we wanted to hear from you, our in-the-know readers, instead.
We asked, and you answered. You introduced us to the designers who you see as being strong allies to the LGBTQ+ community, highlighting what they’re doing and why it means something to you. Naturally, we were teeming with excitement to discover some of these under-the-radar names. Like the brand Palomo coming out of Spain which features an abundant use of androgynous models that we hope will set a new standard for gender representation. Plus, its colorful, psychedelic prints are just downright fun. And then there’s the NYC-based Gypsy Sport, which our readers adore for its frequent risk-taking and unabashedly authentic ethos.
Go on to discover why our readers feel that these designers are champions of the LGBTQ+ community.
“While some brands tote inclusion around like an accessory, worn when fashionable and convenient, Chromat’s inclusivity is embedded within the fibers of the brand. Not only is Becca McCharen-Tran a part of the LGBTQ+ community, you see members of the community all throughout the brand—from the design process to the runway models to Instagram (routinely employing trans and nonbinary #ChromatBABES). The brand is specific about wanting to empower, ‘Women, femmes, and nonbinary ChromatBABES,’ of all different races and sizes. Chromat has been vocal about many issues affecting the community and has even partnered with the likes of Sephora to host makeup classes for all types of gender expressions. This is why Chromat came to mind as a brand that champions the LGBTQ+ community.” — Brandi Nicholson-Burley
“Not only does Palomo showcase same-gender ‘couples’ in its campaigns (which helps promote normalcy), but it actually employs authentically LGBTQ+ models in real life. Personally, my favorite aspect of the house is its abundant use of androgynous models. There’s something really transformative about its runway shows (and print ads) being entirely made up of models that you can’t immediately assign a gender to. In those precious moments, the focus becomes less, ‘this is a man/woman wearing men’s/women’s clothing’ and a little more, ‘this is a person wearing some fantastic art.'” — Stacey Pinson
“Gypsy Sport brings a new, young perspective that fashion needs. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and brings inclusiveness, unlike most brands do. By using black, trans, genderqueer, Hispanic, Asian, gay, non-Eurocentric models, it isn’t afraid to take risks, and it shows the real people who love fashion who often get overshadowed.” — Ariel Rodriguez
“Gypsy Sport is one of the boldest brands out there. It is so true to itself. And the people it chooses to represent it align perfectly with the brand’s vision. It casts unique models, just like its clothes, where sexual orientation, age, or even standard norms of beauty do not hold. Gypsy Sport may not be a brand for everyone, but its unapologetic style and outspoken nature surely do inspire.” — Advaita Karnik
“Underwear from most companies feels compressed into what’s considered sex —lacy, see-through, minimal. That ignores the needs and preferences of so many women. I prefer longer boy shorts and boxer briefs, which are pretty impossible to find in women’s sizes. Enter TomboyX. TomboyX features all sizes, fits, and styles. It doesn’t enforce traditional gender norms in its advertisements and is very welcoming and open to all communities—whether you identify as a ‘tomboy’ or otherwise. It’s reassuring to know that there are companies out there that don’t force women into an underwear box and instead listen to their wants and needs and provide them without judgment.” — Sarah Pirie
“The Phluid Project lives for the freedom of expression. It is challenging outdated ideas that style and fashion are to exist separately for each gender. Over 50% of Gen Z identifies as somewhere on the LGBTQ+ spectrum (meaning they don’t identify as 100% heterosexual). As an ally, having a safe place established on the values of inclusion while offering stylish gender-free clothing is important to myself and my generation as we continue to build the path for a brighter future.” — Kelsey Coughlin
“I think a lot of brands fear losing followers or consumer preference by having a strong opinion, but Milly has always been a brand of voice. I’m not only inspired by Michelle and Milly’s continued support for equal rights within our communities but also have so much respect for the strong stand they take to empower those who deserve a voice. It’s about healthy loving communities, and Milly gets that.” — Venessa Kaufman
Next up, see our epic cover star, Sasha Lane.