June marks Pride Month, a month-long celebration for the LGBTQ+ community to honor their history and heritage. It is during this time that we reflect on the countless accomplishments and contributions of this community both culturally and professionally, and one industry that has graciously benefitted from its influence is fashion. In this post we’re taking a look at five LGBTQ+ designers who are claiming their success and making a difference through their work. Let’s show some appreciation and support these talented designers, not only during Pride Month, but all year long!
After studying fashion design in London and San Francisco, Phoebe Dahl created Faircloth Supply, an effortless and sustainable collection of linen casualwear. Inspired by heritage textiles and utilitarian workwear, comfort is the priority and better yet, all pieces are unisex. In addition, all pieces are ethically made with sustainable materials, and a portion of all proceeds is donated to support girls’ education in Nepal, or to a charity of your choice.
Nicole Zizi Studio
Another brand focused on sustainable fashion, Nicole Zizi Studio garments are made of recycled content and ethically produced materials following fair-trade standards. Reinventing iconic streetwear with its distinct style, Nicole Zizi Studio is quickly reinventing ready-to-wear classics of the past for today’s generation. Think unisex graphic tees, sweatpants, belt bags and hoodies with a clean and classic style. You can also catch Nicole on her podcast Nicole Zizi On Air where she chats with guests about business, human rights, and sustainability.
A former stilt walker and fire dancer, Queer designer Jonny Cota’s love of fashion originated within the circus where he fell in love with their ornate and intricate costumes, which he later went on to design. After starting his label SKINGRAFT in 2008 alongside his brother, he opened three brick and mortar stores, presented at NYFW, and has dressed celebrities ranging from Marilyn Manson to Kid Cudi and Britney Spears. After winning Amazon Prime’s Making the Cut in 2020, he launched his namesake label Jonny Cota.
Designer and Creative Director of Baja East, Scott Studenberg describes his brand style as “surf-to-street edge” and “loose luxury” for all. Formerly a Sales Director at Lanvin, Studenberg launched Baja East in 2014 as a new form of gender-less fashion, making waves on the runway and beyond. The collection focuses on satin and cashmere athleisure pieces that can be worn for a night out or a night in, and has been worn by celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez to name a few.
Making history in 2019 as the first transgender designer to show at NYFW, Pierre Davis is doing her part to make fashion for humanity, not for a specific individual based on sex. Through her agender brand No Sesso, she hopes to inspire people to become more community-minded and to create a more level playing field in the world for all individuals, regardless of identity. She has dressed celebrities including Tenashe, Doja Cat, Erykah Badu, and is known for her signature hand-knit and embroidered creations. Her latest collection is set to launch this fall.
Who are some other LGBTQ+ designers you love? Tag us on Instagram @officialmidwestfashionweek to share your faves!