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Gender Inclusion in Fashion Means More Than ‘Putting a Dress on a Boy’

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In a world where gender norms continue to be challenged and dismantled, fashion designer Ludovic de Saint Sernin and the model Teddy Quinlivan discuss what the future holds for these normative codes within the fashion world.

The people of the world have often considered clothes to show gender identity; however, increasingly, what consumers want and the modern age more and more demands is clothes and attire that are free of gender stereotypes.

Although the unisex apparel market continues to take market share, that doesn’t mean it’s all-encompassing. New products that advertise as “genderless” and “gender-neutral” are dominating the market, particularly with more tremendous success than others.

From androgynous influence on the runway to the mass market stores showcasing “borrowed from the boys” clothes for women, the blurring of lines between genders has been prevalent in fashion for a long time. However, fashion designers and industry experts are breaking the rules in dismantling the traditional distinctions between menswear and womenswear.

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Ludovic de Saint Sernin and his namesake label have been adrift associated with the idea of returning sex appeal and non-gendered sensuality back into the fashion world. In a period in which gender fluidity is still too fully integrated into the world of fashion and famous society, de Saint Sernin, who was in conversation with the model and Fairchild Media’s Diversity Forum and has been regarded as a pioneer in a gender positive movement, particularly among that of the LGBTQ community.

“For me, this was all about living my truest self. I then discovered a market that needed to be recognized. I wanted to develop an identity that people who will wear it wouldn’t have to pick from the traditional choices,” de Saint Sernin declared. “And the impact in the industry has been the most amazing feeling because I am not alone, there is a whole world of people who want to open their hearts and be part of this community.”

The connection between sexuality and fashion is complex because, for decades, cultural norms determined how the two worlds are connected. This doesn’t only apply to what is visible. However, it’s the combination of clothes and emotional expression.

“Fashion has always been a barometer of where mainstream culture is at — what we find to be aspirational, cool, and authentic at the moment,” Quinlivan stated. “Sexuality is a major factor in the fashion industry, as has gender diversity as an aspect of sexuality have been presented by our industries, not because I think that the world is prepared for it. The reason I believe we’re witnessing this major shift and push is that, in terms of culture, we’re getting to a point where society is willing to accept the new changes mean and the way we present ourselves. And this is being demonstrated through fashion, as fashion is the lens through which we perceive the world.”

De Saint Sernin, who has recently appeared in his fashion show, and embraced the idea that you can “be your own muse” in a fashion sense never seen before, has recently released an extremely sensual advertisement that, despite not showing any clothing from his spring 2022 line, has generated massive buzz. It shows the naked body of the young Spanish model and rising star on the runway Fernando Lindez, lensed by photographer Willy Vanderperre, his sixth campaign for the LDSS brand.

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“The images we created throughout [the last] five years was so overwhelming to see the reaction because it was so new and it was showing a new side of queerness, gayness, and sex in a fashion that didn’t exist before only because it wasn’t visible before,” de Saint Sernin stated. “The method I see the fashion industry and gayness, sex, queerness was not depicted prior to that. I used the sources I gathered as a gay person who was discovering what it means to me and what is it like for me to belong in the world and how I would like to portray it.”

Sensuality and its expression aren’t new to fashion. Tom Ford’s tenure at Gucci with provocative and sexually explicit advertisements and Calvin Klein’s famous fashion ads featuring a nearly naked Kate Moss (both during the late 90s) focused on the sexy appeal of sex and proved to be an absolute success. However, the fashion industry isn’t quite ready to go before it accepts the provocative homoerotic images.

More than simply creating new and striking imagery, Pushing for acceptance is a part of Saint Sernin’s mission and the foundation of his brand.

The designer stated, “I was influenced by Robert Mapplethorpe, Madonna, pop stars, and icons from the queer community throughout the years. The ones who impacted me the most were those who had a unique connection to sex and were not afraid of showing sex in a manner that was unique and original and their own interpretation of it. ….I had to bring this aspect to the brand and make it an experience that is more than goes beyond clothes. I believe that as a brand nowadays, you can’t just be creating clothes. You have to be able to convey a message to create something that is important to your audience as well as informs and provides visibility to what you believe in.”

As Quinlivan stated, “Luckily, right now we’re in a time where we’re in a position, particularly in our industry that is creative, where there’s an abundance of gender expression and the breaking of gender norms. the new frontier of creativity is the ability to rewrite these codes in a manner that is more radical than wearing a dress for or a skirt on a guy. There are many ways to challenge gender stereotypes and not be so evident. This is one reason I am incredibly enthused towards Ludovic because is a way to express gender but isn’t so evident, it’s gender-fluid but without turning it into the subject of a show.”

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However, today the challenge to gender norms is now the norm. one of the ways fashion designers have taken to be more controversial is to use unconventional casting to get attention or make it viral.

“Fashion is art,” and designers should be free to choose who they wish. But, at some point, do we become aware that we’re exploitation of these people and putting them in a position to be an icon to make profits for corporations? This is evident with Pride as an example and how it’s become a corporatized phenomenon, but, in the fashion industry, it is beginning to follow the corporate model,” said Quinlivan, who is transgender herself and has made public statements about the issue of gender equality. “The fashion industry can have distinctive casting and messages without compromising the most radical aspects: the Internet or Twitter. We are trying to make some of the most radical aspects of culture within the sphere of fashion, however, in a manner that isn’t a good fit with the masses.”

More than ever before, the global movement to promote gender equality has made massive progress toward creating a society that allows members of the community can freely express and appreciate their sexuality with no anxiety. The fashion industry continues to promote beauty in all its ways, and it’s a source of the development of creativity and is slowly moving towards a future with greater equality. With it, the trend of sex-related appeal is beginning to transcend its primary nature of pure appeal and becoming a beacon to end shame and promote body positivity. Let people who are consuming the products accept the many ways they feel.

“What’s incredible about the changes happening right now is that there are so many voices that are being heard. We’re heading in a fantastic direction, and we’re opening doors too but thanks to the people who have had them open before us. There are things that have to be altered, but adding fresh voices, and showing that there’s something new to be done and new people who need to be heard, I believe is the most important thing,” de Saint Sernin declared.

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How to Choose Wedding-Day Fashion for a Queer Couple.

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The standard question started it all: What would my ideal wedding look like? Curtis Cassell, his caterers, and coworkers often asked this question after a long weekend of weddings. Cassell shares his thoughts with Brides: “Then, I realized that we as queer people often ask if they’d wear a suit or dress.” “Our options are literally either black or white,” that is, up until recently.

LGBT+ people are opting for something other than the traditional white or black suit when choosing wedding-day attire. Queera Wang, Cassell’s brand, aims to offer a range of wedding attire beyond conventional options. Cassell says, “When I started working on the label and the first collection, it was clear that the brand did not necessarily land on womenswear or menswear.” “I took bits and pieces from masculine and feminine elements and made a Frankenstein out of them,” Cassell says.

PHOTO BY HOLTZ WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

When you think of wedding attire, what are some things that spring to your mind? Do you feel the need to look sharp and professional, which is why the sleek tux? Do you feel dreamy and ethereal in a long white wedding dress? Cassell’s work is the same. It’s just different from what is expected.

Queera Wang has replaced the traditional tuxedos worn by dapper dandies with deconstructed beige trousers and jackets. Linen is used in place of wool. The classic wedding dress has been bippity-boppity-boop into a garment that looks like an Edwardian. The sleeves of billowing shirts are dramatic with their dramatic puffed sleeves and long, elongated necklines. People are changing, and so is their vision of what they want to wear on their wedding day. He jokes that everyone wants their wedding to look like the Met Gala. Even the choices of colors are not the norm. There’s an earthy beige here and a seductive red elsewhere. You can even choose a deep blue.

The collection is beautiful, but it also speaks to the larger picture. Queer people constantly change the rules of wedding attire, and the options they have for choosing what to wear on their big day are endless. I don’t want to be seen as a ‘genderless brand. Gender-powerful is more accurate. Cassell says, “I love tapping into masculine and female fashions and merging them.” It doesn’t end there. Many of my clients have bodies that don’t fit the rack. It’s not about serving someone’s identity.

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In queer wedding fashion, avant-garde isn’t necessarily the only option. Noa Santos and Ross Matsubara found inspiration in film for their wedding dresses. Matsubara says that Matsubara and Noa Santos wanted their wedding attire to reflect their Hawaiian wedding and personalities. Matsubara states that Noa prefers to be minimalistic, clean, and simple, while I gravitate towards patterns, unique details, and sheen. We didn’t want our suits tied to any particular season or collection. The claims should be timeless.

They took their ideas together to David Hart, a New York menswear designer, to create their perfect looks. They were able to create a dream-like environment in which everything seemed effortless. Matsubara chose a bold, jade green paisley print with a sheen in dark hunter and jade. The suit created the illusion that the colors changed depending on how the light hit it. Santos chose a dark hunter green suit in silk-linen fabric. The accessories were similar: matching Magnani patent leather shoes, extensive Tom Ford bow ties, and vintage gold knots.

It was not just the beautiful final designs that made the couple memorable but also the entire process. Hart was involved in creating everything from choosing fabrics to creating silhouettes, which became a lasting memory. Matsubara says that Hart’s tailors and studio are in Greenpoint. This is an area we rarely visit, so the tuxedo designing process was a fun little adventure for us. We would always go to Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. for happy hour oysters, wine, and after each visit. We would talk about the wedding and remember the incredible journey. It became a very memorable tradition.”

The choice of wedding attire for queer couples comes down to personal preference, just like with other types of weddings. There are endless options and no boundaries, but it is essential to remember that what you wear directly affects your couple’s happiness. Cassell said that she had received emails from people stating that they couldn’t imagine getting married until they saw my clothes. “Those are the most empowering moments.

PHOTO BY HOLTZ WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

Decide on What Matters

One shoe size doesn’t fit all, just like most things. One couple who chooses to be avant-garde doesn’t necessarily mean that another couple who prefers traditional attire is wrong. Your wedding is yours, and your opinion is final. Start by asking yourself basic questions. Do you feel confident going bold? Do you prefer a more classic style? Decide what you value in clothing and how you and your partner will embody that.

Display your personality

The wedding is only one thing. It is essential to showcase your and your partner’s personalities whenever possible. It can be easy to choose something different than the norm. A red suit or a shirt and t-shirt with a billowing collar say enough about your personality. It would help if you also thought about the small details, such as changing the color of your shoes or the bow tie. Perhaps you’d like to wear a unique shirt or adorn your brooch with a stunning pin. It’s all about the details.

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Take into account the formalities of the wedding.

Although you don’t have an obligation to follow these codes at your wedding, they can help you decide on your dress. If you ask them, it might be respectful for your guests to wear black ties. At the very least, it should be in some way. A tuxedo is a dress that can be tailored to your taste.

Make a wedding wardrobe.

Do you need options? Or do you want a drastic wardrobe overhaul? It would help if you made compromises with your partner. You might consider having two wedding looks. You may feel you need a formal ceremony in a sharp tuxedo or dress, but you also want something glamorous and campy for the reception. You can never go wrong with a wardrobe change.

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Red Luxury buys US brand The M Jewelers.

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Red Luxury has taken another risky move. When the market for watches and jewelry is changing quickly, The French company’s goal is to shake up its traditional model by investing in new and directional brands. Thus, the acquisition of the majority stake with US personalized jewelry company The M Jewelers.

Mark Shami founded the M Jewelers in New York’s Diamond District in 2013. It pioneered the introduction of personalized jewelry on Instagram and was an industry leader, with annual revenue of 12 million (approximately EUR11.2 million) in 2021. It is a favorite of many famous people, including Bella Hadid. The brand is expanding and has opened an exclusive store at the number 204 Mulberry Street in New York on the 8th of January in 2022. The brand new, 111 square meters store has black lighting fixtures and an exclusive viewing area that allows customers to customize the jewelry they’ve purchased. Since the store’s opening, there have been fifty or so customers waiting to be allowed into the shop on Saturdays.

Red Luxury aims to double the M Jewelers’ revenues in the next two years and pursue growth online while also expanding the company’s distribution footprint by opening new stores in the USA and overseas, such as with concessions within Europe.

Red Luxury was founded by Romain Benichou and David-Emmanuel Cohen back in 2012. The company has a portfolio of licensing agreements with Zadig & Voltaire, Christian Lacroix, Opex, and Rochas. But more than 70% of its revenue comes from its jewelry brands, including Ginette NY, Pamela Love, Reminiscence, and Maison Montignac, all created, manufactured, and sold across the globe via Red Luxury itself. Based on the growth of these brands and expansion, by 2022, Red Luxury expects to generate sales of EUR40 million and is aiming for EUR100 million in 2027. Red Luxury is an expert in e-commerce, and it anticipates earning 30 percent of its total revenues on the internet.

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Red Luxury is positioning itself as a significant player within the market and is determined to “wake up the sleeping beauties.” As an accelerator for specialist jewelry brands, the company has joined forces with emerging talent and designers to create and promote their brands on an international, multi-channel platform. Benichou Cohen and Benichou Cohen are convinced of a healthy balance in the mix of B2B in addition to B2C operations, with the latter using both digital and physical retail.

A strategy that has paid dividends for the brands the group has purchased. For instance, since being acquired through Red Luxury in 2017, Ginette NY has grown 300 percent. Similar is the case in the case of Pamela Love, whose revenue has grown by 500 percent since it was acquired in the year 2019. Additionally, Red Luxury is preparing to launch the second Pamela Love store in Brooklyn and the eighth Ginette NY store located in Strasbourg, France.

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Dubai Design District welcomes leading Polish designers to the world-class fashion community.

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Dorota Goldpoint is now part of the design hub’s diverse collection of established and emerging fashion talents.

Dubai, UAE: Dubai Design District (d3), an international center for design, art, and innovation, has expanded its international presence of fashion designers by introducing Polish fashion designer Dorota Goldpoint. She has set an office within the community of the. Goldpoint is among the most famous figures in Polish fashion and design globally. This new addition to the d3 community demonstrates the district’s dedication to developing both young and established talent and providing the world’s most influential and diverse design and mixing for the UAE and the region.

A host of local designers and brand designers, d3 has developed an enviable environment and platform for homegrown designers like Michael Cinco and Amato Couture, who have shown their work in Arab Fashion Week and global runways raising their profile to global heights. This addition to the renowned celebrity Polish designer is in line with the district’s goal of bringing new influences and inspirations into the community, further delighting buyers and fashion enthusiasts in the emirate and the wider region.

Commenting on the newest addition to d3, Khadija Al Bastaki, the Executive Director for Dubai Design District (d3), declares: “At d3, we are always looking for ways to bring together creative talents to create a diverse creative community to work together and promote collaboration, innovation, and challenging the norm. Dubai is a melting pot of different cultures and backgrounds, and we at d3 are thrilled to play an integral role in showcasing the diversity and the very best in creative thinking that comes from not only the UAE but also the regionally and internationally.”

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“We are thrilled to welcome Dorota Goldpoint to our family and are looking forward to her showing her distinctive style of fashion and collection. Her talents, enthusiasm, and curiosity make her a perfect choice for our community. She will bring us collections we’re certain will appeal to the public throughout Dubai and the region. Her presence at d3 is an example of our ever-growing and diverse collection of local, regional, and international designers in the fashion world. It aids in establishing Dubai’s place as a leading global capital of creativity.”

Commenting on her recent appearance in d3 Dorota Goldpoint, she says: “The fashion industry in Dubai is truly inspirational and distinctive. As I have seen other designers visit huge numbers to show their collections at Arab Fashion Week, I am convinced that Dubai will continue to set the standard for international fashion. I’ve visited the region numerous times in the past five years, and it’s my privilege to set the base in Dubai Design District. It’s a stunning place with pulsating optimism and creative energy. In my numerous visits to this area, I’ve noticed that it’s popular with locals with a plethora of renowned fashion labels and intimate cafes, restaurants, and art galleries. As one of the very first Polish women to set up a base here in the d3 region, I’m glad to be a part of this wonderful community that shares an environment with famous names and the most prestigious brands, such as Channel, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Bottega Veneta, Prada, Hugo Boss, and Vogue and local talents from our region and locals. With people with such impressive talent and backgrounds, I am looking to expand my wings and expand my career and reach out to the region.”

Goldpoint’s debut show during Arab Fashion Week was in October of last year. In her debut show, she showed an extraordinary and vibrant collection influenced by culture, with designs inspired by the Polish folk songs and dance group “Mazowsze,” known across the globe. A reflection of her cheerful and optimistic attitude and outlook, she used vibrant colors and floral designs like poppies, roses, and peonies – the flowers and colors that are a part of the Polish landscape. The show was further enhanced with the perfect use of music and the famous Polish model Grazyna Szapolowska stepping out on the runway.

The brand has recently presented for the Fall-Winter 2022/23 collections for women in March and has created cocktail and evening styles. The cocktail designs she created referenced past eras in the classic, vintage style. The designer also showed pieces she thought would appeal to today’s market – dresses that were draped close on the body and with cut-offs that are symmetrical, as well as vintage prints and classic skirts.

Offering collections for a cocktail, evening casual and sportswear, beach wear, and abayas, the foundation of Goldpoint’s brand is luxurious minimalism, minimalist designs, and fashions with gorgeous proportions, made from natural and high-end fabrics like silk. Inspiring her style, she draws inspiration from contemporary Italian fashion and French style; she uses asymmetric cuts, scaled sleeves, and ruffles. Her designs are in line with the principles of sustainable style. Floral prints are featured in her collection every season. She’s a lover of feminine style, and her designs appeal to women of all sizes and ages. She believes that it is possible to stylishly dress any woman.

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Events like Arab Fashion Week, which is organized by d3 in strategic collaboration in conjunction with the Arab Fashion Council, are essential to increasing the district’s reputation as a leading artistic, fashion, and creative center.

The most recent version of Arab Fashion Week in March was the biggest to date, with 28 runway shows featuring fashion designers and models from Italy, USA, France, Russia, Egypt, Palestine, Indonesia, China, Poland, UAE, Lebanon, Jordan, Algeria, Belarus, Saudi Arabia, and Libya. The diverse selection of shows included famous names like Maram Borhan, Giannina Azar, Ihab Jiryis, Hian Tjen, Hamariff, LuLu Liu, and Michael Cinco, all presenting the world’s first-ever display of couture and ready-to-wear womenswear. Arab Fashion Week will return in October and June this year.

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