Every June, brands use the colors of the rainbow on their products to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. We ask designers about the true meaning of inclusive fashion
Every June, the LGBTQ+ community around the world celebrates Pride Month with dance parties, pop-ups, and parades.
Various designers, labels and brands are beginning to offer clothing and accessories in the colors of the rainbow. For example, this year, Calvin Klein launched a special collection of clothing, underwear and accessories earlier this month to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, just like Versace. Keratase has brought out a limited-edition hair oil to mark the month, though the link to Pride seems tenuous.
Some brands have these kinds of releases every year; others do it occasionally, depending on the number of people the previous collection brought in and the space they want to occupy in a socially conscious world.
Fashion brands have a long list of “special” days to celebrate: Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, so are your Pride Month releases just an addition to the list? Is there a risk of reducing the way of life of the entire queer community to a matter of a month?
We reached out to designers in the community and asked what Pride means to them and if Pride-themed merchandise is a good idea. Some of the designers have shared a sketch that reflects their thoughts on inclusive fashion.
Pride for me is being able to build and live the life that one chooses. I always go for Pride products from smaller brands and businesses that are LGBTQ+ owned or strong in the community, are friendly, welcoming, and have fair policies when it comes to employing people from the community and others.
Pride is when being called “gay” no longer feels like an insult. It’s knowing that I don’t define myself by my sexual orientation. Putting a rainbow on merchandise does not help the community progress in any way. Brands could run HIV awareness campaigns in their stores and host blood drive camps to show they really care. They must work with the community to make pride a norm and not a novelty.
When it comes to more inclusive fashion, many designers have found what is most profitable for them and turned it into a ready-made business, so all collections end up looking generic. While I understand the pressures of keeping a brand afloat, somewhere I’ve been missing the creative risks that keep the consumer on their toes and eager for a new season.
Designating a specific month can serve as a focused opportunity to raise awareness, educate, and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and equality. Create a platform for dialogue, visibility and progress. It allows us to highlight the challenges facing the community, amplify their voices, and work to foster a more inclusive society.
It’s also true that in recent years, Pride-themed products and campaigns have become more prevalent, particularly during this month. Some argue that for certain brands, Pride’s marketing may be driven primarily by profit-seeking motives rather than genuine support for the LGBTQ+ community. However, it’s worth noting that even if some brands see Pride as a marketing opportunity, it can still have positive results. The visibility of Pride-themed campaigns can help spread awareness, promote acceptance, and normalize LGBTQ+ identities and relationships. It has the potential to reach a broader audience, including people who may not have been exposed to queer experiences before.
Pride is being fierce and brave about being yourself. If you’re creating or curating Pride merchandise, make sure you have a permanent shelf in your store. Fashion can be made more inclusive by normalizing it for people to experiment, especially with gender-neutral clothing. There should be more unlabeled clothes. We need more mainstream designers of the bridal space to showcase queer identities.
This special Pride merchandise is extremely nifty. It is not a festival and it is not necessary for everyone to parade in the rainbow colors of the community. Don’t get me wrong, Pride month is definitely worth celebrating, everyone should celebrate it, but it’s painful when those same people seem to not care about the community the rest of the year or make an effort to be truly inclusive. community members.