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  • Writer's pictureTeam DesignerShala

Celebrating Pride with These Pride Designers

Updated: Oct 9, 2021

Remember how you struggled to find your identity in your teens? It definitely took a lot of effort and you didn’t see the results overnight. Even in your 20s, you’re still figuring out more and more about yourself day after day. But, all of this has been exceptionally difficult especially for creative professionals in the LGBTQIA+ community.

There was a time that the queer community hid because society didn’t accept it. Their existence was frowned upon and they were shunned from most places including professional spaces. But, now that we are in 2021, the world has entirely changed, and for the good.

The LGBTQIA+ community is not only accepted but also cherished. They have made tremendous changes to the world and left a big mark on the current fashion industry with their creativity. That industry has seen some of the big names belonging to the queer community and they have significantly changed the face of fashion in today’s times. They have pushed the binary boundaries and created art through their talent.

Commemorating Diversity at Designer Shala

We at Designer Shala are all about celebrating diversity, individualism, art, and passion for fashion. And, that is exactly what we’re doing today. To celebrate this year’s pride month, we are here, encouraging each and every one of you to embrace your uniqueness and let your art and work do all the talking. And, guess what? As a part of this commemoration, we are also excited to collaborate and engage with queer creators who will be able to provide a fresh perspective to design for our community.

We are so proud of the unique ideologies and mindsets that all of you, our students hold while presenting your ideas and designs. When it comes to celebrating pride, we also send a token of appreciation to each of these ideas, letting them inspire us to create something truly beautiful. All our students will be devoted to creating something absolutely unique for this month and we couldn’t be happier!

We’re also holding special classes to educate all our students about the value of pride and individuality during times like these. All of the history that pride comes with, the struggle of early leaders and the paths they paved for the future generation are simply inspiring. And, we are making sure our students become allies in the movement. We are discussing the political views of parties towards the LGBTQIA+ community and how the thought process has evolved over the years. Through blogs, other insights, and social media campaigns, we aim to bring the best of queer creators forward and help our students learn from them.

As we celebrate Pride Month 2021, let’s look at some of the faces that belong to the LGBTQIA+ community that have transformed the fashion industry over the years -

1. Jeremy Scott

Source: System Magazine

From growing up on a farm to becoming a Creative Director of a well-known fashion house Moschino in Italy, Jeremy Scott has climbed the ladder to fashion while being a queer genius. He’s an active member of the LGBTQIA+ community in the world by educating people about the rights and beliefs of queer people, and how everyone else can support them. A true pioneer of modern fashion, Jeremy Scott has reinvented Moschino’s image in the public eye with his creative designs. He has introduced fabulous and fierce designs within mainstream media and has collaborated with iconic stars like Katy Perry, Gigi Hadid, and Madonna.

As the Creative Director of Moschino, he likes to focus on bringing queer designs into the limelight that makes queer visibility more apparent in today’s world. Although we have come a long way to accepting queerness, we still have a long way to go!

2. Jil Sander

Source: The Cut

British Vogue has called her fashion’s first feminist, and that’s saying something! This German designer started her very first company in 1968 when she was only 24 and she has made some unique contributions to women’s business attire. Instead of putting all the women in lanky suits for men, she created business apparel that suited the female body type and created looks that were practical, functional and rational.

Her simple designs were indeed impactful in nature. Her designs inspired a cult-like following of business and corporate women who enjoyed being elegant, powerful and yet feminine at the workplace. Although Jil Sander hasn’t spoken much about her sexuality in public, she chooses to let the world see her through her designs. She created minimalist high-fashion androgynous apparel for women for decades and empowered all the women in the world with the help of her work.

3. Gogo Graham

Source: Vogue

A transgender fashion goddess who lives in New York City, she creates one of a kind designs specifically for trans femme models to celebrate trans femininity. The evolution of her identity as a trans female is clearly depicted in her collections. Since trans women come in different sizes and colours, she wants her garments to give them a sense of power while preserving their individuality. Her iconic fashion show during the New York Fashion Week featured all trans models and she was applauded. Since she created styles specifically for trans women, she wanted models that could make them their own and yet feel original in them.

Being a non-black transgender female in the fashion world is exhausting. She confronts a line of obstacles, some being concrete and some being abstract. But the way she has been able to shape her identity dictates how she experiences life and with the experiences she has had, she wants to relay the message and bring attention to trans rights. In a time like today where designers are breaking into androgynous clothing, it’s refreshing to witness Gogo Graham creating designs specifically targeted towards a group of people that need to be brought into the limelight for the right reasons.

4. Wendell Rodricks

Source: India TV

Talented, fierce and magnificent, Wendell Rodricks was a pioneer of the LGBTQIA+ community’s rights movement in India. He speaks a lot about how it was to be gay in the 70s and 80s! Although his fashion sense has always inclined towards a minimalist side, his personality has been nothing but vibrant.

Since his pubescent years, he noticed an inkling attraction towards men and that’s when he knew he was gay. But rather than thinking about what society, his parents and his friends would say about that, he thought about how he felt about it. Since he was so openly gay in a country like India, he faced sheer terror when he went up on national television and outed himself in front of the whole country. But he also feels that this gave the younger generation much encouragement to stay true to themselves and not hide in the proverbial closet.

In his fashion journey back then, this guru of minimalism wore different hats. A well-known fashion designer, he was also an author and an activist. Wendell Rodricks planned the first-ever Lakme Fashion Week India back in 2000 and after that, his fashion journey took off. Not only was he an acclaimed fashion designer but he has also acted in Bollywood movies. Even today, his designer wear collection in men’s and women’s fashion continues to soar. He had managed to capture the essence of the Indian audience's style seamlessly!

The fashion industry has a massive global market value currently and it is very competitive in nature. A lot of designers have entered this market and have achieved tremendous success. But when it comes to designers that belong to the LGBTQIA+ community, it is a whole different ball game. They bring freshness and newer perspectives into their designs that the world hasn’t seen before! We applaud all of these designers that have overcome their struggles and raised the bar when it comes to fashion. Their designs have surely left a mark on the fashion industry, and here is our ode to them!

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