When you’re first coming out, it can be difficult to figure out your own style. What does a queer person look like, and is it important to wear clothing that signals your identity to others? Ultimately, the answer to those questions is up to you. Everyone has a different style, and finding your own is a process. That said, knowing about the best queer-owned brand can help you channel your newfound queer identity and support your community in the process.
INTO compiled a list of 10 brands that celebrate queer identity all year. Many of these small businesses are owned by women, BIPOC, and trans creatives who give back to their communities while challenging a new era of social gender norms.
“Will this piece live on, and will it continue to inspire others later? Ultimately, we’re trying to build a creative archive.”
Founded to create a judgment-free space in the fashion world, Stuzo Clothing is making waves as a gender-free brand. They’re here to supply you with the basics: T-shirts, joggers, and caps that often brandish bold statements. In every garment, you can see founder Stoney Michelli’s (she/her) vision and story. She is proud to be a Black, Latine, queer woman and wants you to take pride in who you are.
It takes a lot of nerve to be your authentic self. Wildfang understands this fact of queer identity and designs clothes for anyone tired of “outdated gender norms” dictating what we wear. Wildfang makes stuff you will enjoy wearing — button-ups that actually fit, blazers and pants with functioning pockets, and degendered designs that help you feel empowered. On top of their dedication to the gender revolution, they have raised over $750,000 for several good causes, including Planned Parenthood and ProjectQ.
HauteButch specializes in masculine clothing. It all started when its creators encountered the dilemma of fitting menswear-inspired silhouettes to diverse body types. HauteButch makes clothing for anyone that has ever been on the receiving end of a bad fit. According to its founders, the brand’s goal is to help “butches, studs, tomboys, transmen, and androgynous style seekers” find clothing they love to wear that fit their bodies in the best way possible.
MI Leggit (they/them) founded Official Rebrand to challenge the boundaries of art and fashion. They turned their sustainability-focused art into clothing made from unwanted materials. Their designs strip clothing of gender confines, allowing people to express themselves through socially subversive and fascinating clothing. Some styles are outrageous, but there is beauty in knowing someone somewhere will love the look and the opportunity for self-expression.
NICOLE ZÏZI STUDIO
NICOLE ZÏZI STUDIO is just as passionate about degendering clothing as it is about sustainable practices in clothing production. Their clothing is made from recycled, deadstock, and organic fibers. The brand’s production practices set an example for other designers: sustainability and responsible creation are both possible, and disabusing gender from an oppressive binary is important, but so is mindful consumption.
Big Bud Press
In addition to designing and manufacturing unisex clothing, Big Bud Press is doing everything it can to minimize its impact on the climate. Most of the brand’s fabric is produced domestically and manufactured in Los Angeles in a wide range of sizes from XXS to 6XL. Big Bud Press proves that clothes shouldn’t just look good; they should make you feel good. Their designs are colorful, fun, and perfect for showing off your pride.
THÚY Custom Clothier
THÚY specializes in bespoke suits. Being a queer woman of Vietnamese descent, Thúy Nguyen (she/her) is unlike most tailors. She understands the struggles of being a queer person looking for clothes, and especially a suit, that is flattering. Her bespoke creations are a testament to her understanding of queer imagination and struggles. Whether you’re looking for a classically masculine suit or want something that speaks to the feminine in you, THÚY’s personalized approach will produce a one-of-a-kind garment.
Landeros is the creation of Andre Landeros Michel (he/him). He believes there are limits in binaries — dark and romantic are just shades to create with, and gender is something to be challenged. His work is bold and dominated by structure and geometry. Confidence is entirely necessary to pull off a Landeros piece. Michel’s work demonstrates that the future is now, and in the future, clothing has no gender.
Born out of the strife inherent in growing up queer and in an immigrant household, Llessur founder Russell Peguero’s goal is to express a story of survival. This narrative inspired him to create a brand that actively defies gender roles. Inspired by the work set forth by legendary designer Alexander McQueen, Llessure takes up space in the world of couture to play with gender expression. The designs are transgressive and provocative in a way only a queer imagination can conceive.
This brand specializes in degendered clothing. Unlike many brands that use “diversity” and “inclusion” as buzzwords to bring in a customer base, No Sesso has set up its entire ethos on these ideas. Run by Black trans creatives, this fashion house seeks to bring innovative designs to the fashion forward. This is where you go for your “beyond basics.” All of their pieces are statement pieces with the potential to elevate your everyday personal style.♦