Visibility has always been a double-edged sword. On one side, it’s been incredible to witness how the world, and by extension, the fashion industry, has begun to advocate for change. From the call to action to support LGBTQ+ brands to ensuring the next generation of talent has a chance to get in the door, the industry has made immense strides in the right direction over the past few years. But on the flip side, there’s the boom of often inauthentic marketing tactics for Pride Month. Every brand wants to stay relevant, so they’re willing to drop rainbow-adorned pieces to be a part of the conversation without making regular contributions to organizations such as The Trevor Project and ACLU or supporting legislation that protects our civil liberties.
Don’t get me wrong. I love a color moment just as much as the next person and will always be an ally waving that flag. Still, I’ve found that most brands’ special Pride Month collections teeter into that cheesy territory and don’t always benefit the communities they’re targeting. So what’s the best way to actually support the community? In my mind, there’s no chicer way to do so than by first making regular donations to organizations and then supporting LGBTQ+ fashion designers. You don’t have to buy another cliché T-shirt (unless you want to); there are so many fabulous designers creating great pieces that can be worn and shopped year-round.
So in that vein, I’ve rounded up the chicest finds from 30 LGBTQ-founded fashion brands. From campy-inspired cocktail dresses to androgynous button-downs, these pieces remind us that supporting the LGBTQ+ community isn’t just about wearing a rainbow for one month of the year; it’s about putting your money where your values are. And what’s more stylish than that?