In celebration of LGBTQ+ history month, we've teamed up with writer Georgia Megan to highlight the huge contribution the community has made to fashion, from influencers, to fashion films and icons.
The first in this series is 'Five Female LGBTQ+ Fashion Voices You Should Be Following' below! Check back every Friday in February to read more about the journey the LGBTQ+ community has taken through the industry in this celebratory series.
As an industry we celebrate women more often than not. Womenswear designers use the female body as a starting point for designs, we are inspired by the power female models hold as the walk down the catwalk, and we are captivated by their voices as we move into an age of rightfully demanded equality and uplifted female strength by women supporting women.
Through celebrating women, we recognise all types of women. Women of different ages, sizes, ethnic backgrounds, disabilities, gender expression and sexuality. These types of women enable our industry to become relatable and accessible to everyone and allow young female graduates who may identify with these categories to know that they can break into this industry too. There are no limits and these LGBTQ+ influencers prove that.
Munroe Bergdorf is an example of a woman who battled the hardships of our, sometimes cut throat, industry and came out the other side better than before. The transgender mixed race model spoke out against white privilege on her social platforms. Her ambition to prove the world wrong means she has been involved with campaigns for Illamasqua and has been featured in editorials for Wonderland and Dazed.
Queer writer and founder of Bluestocking Boutique Jeanna Kadlec is paving the way for inclusivity in retail. After dropping out of university after four years to start Bluestocking Boutique, the world’s first LGBTQ+ lingerie store, she achieved huge success with the store being covered in The Guardian, The Huffington Post, abcNews, and many more press outlets.
Editor-in-Chief of DYKE_ON, Rain Laurent, created the magazine geared towards lesbian fashion. After realising that “in terms of the established fashion world, there’s no place for lesbians” she created DYKE_ON, a magazine for all women, but specifically for a target audience of those who identify as gay or lesbian. Starting from an Instagram account that praised androgynous style, Laurent developed the magazine which has now been covered by Dazed and is sold out on multiple sites including Boutique Mags.
Model, Andreja Pejic, was the first transgender model featured in American Vogue and the first model to walk for both womenswear and menswear shows. In FW13/14 shows she walked for both Jean Paul Gaultier’s menswear and womenswear collections appearing in both a suit and a dress. This injected controversy and a break down in gender boundaries the industry had never seen on the catwalk before. Today Pejic in represented by Ford Models and uses her Instagram platform to inspire other members of the LGBTQ+ community to continue pursuing careers in fashion.
Following in the footsteps on Pejic, Rain Dove walks for both menswear and womenswear catwalks and is involved in various menswear and womenswear campaigns. The gender queer model uses the pronouns they/them and identifies with no gender as they aspire to be simply themselves. Dove went from being homeless and living in a shower stall at a gym to walking in various shows at New York and London Fashion Week. They now use their Instagram platform to raise awareness of gender identity and expression in modelling.
What are you waiting for? Get following these inspirational people!
Words by Georgia Megan