10 Queer-Owned Fashion Brands to Support All Year Round
Every time Pride Month rolls around, it seems as if every other brand decides to drop some sort of rainbow-themed collection in an attempt to seem relevant. Many have been criticized (or at least received eye rolls) for tipping their hats to the LGBTQ+ community for only a single month out of the year. If you’re looking to use your purchasing power to support the queer community all 365 days, consider giving your business to one of these LGBTQ-owned fashion labels, which are making and selling everything from jewelry and underwear to suits and T-shirts.
1. Stuzo Clothing
This line was started in 2010 by Stoney Michelli and Uzo Ejikeme with the mission to create a space in the fashion world where all are welcome. Every design is unisex or gender free, as the brand's site says, “because clothes don’t have any organs last time we checked.” Stuzo’s cool, casual pieces have been worn by so-cool-it-hurts celebs like Ruby Rose, Tiffany Haddish and Lena Waithe.
2. Automic Gold
This queer, trans-owned jewelry line was started in 2017 by wives Al (they/them) and Kiera (she/her). The baubles are intended for all genders, not because the styles are quote-unquote unisex, but because, according to its website, "Automic Gold jewelry was specifically designed to mix and warp the feminine, masculine, in between and outside to make fine jewelry that is beyond gender.” Each solid gold earring, necklace, bracelet and ring is simple and delicate—ideal for wearing every single day.
The queer-run, female-founded business is aiming to alter the way we think about menswear versus womenswear. Known for the signature Wild Feminist collection, this company is also committed to charity. In 2018, Wildfang gave more than $400k to non-profits including the ACLU, the Tegan & Sara Foundation and RAICES.
4. Kirrin Finch
This conscientious clothing company, founded by Brooklyn-based couple Laura Moffat and Kelly Sanders Moffat, creates menswear-inspired apparel designed to fit a range of female and non-binary bodies. As women who gravitated toward button-up shirts and bow ties, Laura and Kelly created Kirrin Finch after being frustrated that the clothes they wanted to wear—from the men’s section—didn’t fit their frames. In addition to suiting, the line also includes more casual goods like T-shirts, short-sleeve button-downs and hats.
Started by two San Francisco-born sisters (one of whom is queer), Matriarch is a line of gender-neutral footwear. The brand was born out of the belief that shoes have been divided into "men's" and "women's" categories for too long—when in reality style and aesthetic preferences transcend gender lines, and foot size shouldn't limit one's style or quality options.
As a queer-owned business, Otherwild centers ethics at the core of its mission. This includes supporting artists and designers with shared values and concerns, dedication to fair wages and labor practices, eliminating products that employ a majority of single-use plastics in their design and more. In addition to clothing and accessories, Otherwild also sells housewares and apothecary products.
Launched as a Kickstarter campaign six years ago by wives Fran Dunaway and Naomi Gonzalez, TomboyX is a line of undergarments and swimwear, including ultra-comfortable underwear in six different styles and tons of colors and patterns (from avocados and unicorns to popsicles). Dunaway told Money, “It’s about finding clothing that represents how you feel and how you want to present. That societal construct you see when you walk into a store, [where] its ‘boy and girl’ and ‘men and women’… there are a lot of people who ride in that in-between.”
8. revel & riot
Revel & Riot uses the T-shirt as a canvas to promote LGBTQ+ equality, pride, visibility and justice. On top of selling great tees, the website provides a collection of resources, including information about anti-oppression, transgender health, internalized homophobia and LGBTQ+ art history. Per the brand, "We believe that the LGBTQ+ fight for equality is bound to all other struggles for social, economic and environmental justice and we try to reinforce that vision through our resources."
9. Humankind Swim
The founder of this genderless swimwear line, Haily Marzullo, told Nylon, “The LGBTQ community is overlooked in swimwear. You’re either categorized as wearing a men’s trunk or a women’s bikini, and there’s not an in-between.” So Marzullo set out to create a line of the kinds of suits she actually wanted to wear: sports bra-like tops with traditionally male swim trunks. They’re simple and sporty and—true to Humankind’s mission—don’t exclude anyone.
Founded by Becca McCharen-Tran in 2010, Chromat is an inclusive and sustainable line of swimwear and athleisure. While lots of brands are slowly figuring out how to design for bodies of all shapes and sizes, Chromat has made that its mission since day one. McCharen-Tran told them., “The inclusivity you see on the Chromat runways isn’t about filling a quota and it’s not part of a marketing push. The people in our shows are our real friends and collaborators. I want to celebrate these inspirational women, femmes, and nonbinary babes using the platform we have.”