While fashion is often considered a luxury out of reach for most people, a whole group of designers is bringing fashion to the streets, finding new ways to make it accessible and relevant to all.
Style has long been one way in which queer people find each other and express the beauty of their difference to the larger world. Queer designers have helped liberate us from convention, often enforced through outdated ideas about what attire is acceptable based on gender and heteronormativity.
This pride season, the following designers caught our attention not just for their aesthetic sensibilities but their devotion to our cause.
1. Rio Uribe
Nothing was handed to Rio Uribe. The designer grew up between Koreatown in Los Angeles and Mexico, inspiring in the queer teen a keen sense of street style and an appreciation for the blending of outfits traditionally relegated to men or women.
In 2006, he worked his way up at Balenciaga to a merchandising job, in charge of material samples, which he studied in preparation for the launch of his own brand, Gypsy Sport in 2012. Today, the brand is the quintessential example of stylish unisex clothing, where men and women can move effortlessly between skirts and pants, earning him fans from Jaden Smith to Anna Wintour.
As Uribe told Fashionista:
I always wanted to wear girls’ clothes as a kid; girls always have all the cool stuff, and guys have the very basic cuts of shirts and pants. So when I was able to design clothing, I didn’t want it to be designed for boys or for girls, that would make you feel limited in what you could wear. Whatever your gender, you can wear it as long as it fits how you want it to fit. We’ve been working really hard to get our fits so men and women can both buy from XS to XL size range.