The Pioneers and the Protégés: 5 LGBT+ Trailblazers We Love
From the classic works of Yves Saint Laurent to the exquisite stylings of one Valentino Garavani, the fashion industry has certainly seen no shortage of immense contributions from the LGBT+ community. In this edit we explore five incredible designers who've undoubtedly changed face of fashion.
Yves Saint Laurent
A young prodigy who became Dior’s lead designer at just 21 years old, Yves Saint Laurent changed fashion with the creation of his namesake label’s Le Smoking Tuxedo, transforming a traditionally masculine silhouette into a symbol of empowerment for women everywhere.
Gianni Versace’s vibrant designs and larger-than-life persona fused fashion and pop culture in groundbreaking new ways, leading to many industry accolades. As one of Italy’s first openly gay figures, Versace proudly used his celebrity to raise awareness for friend Elton John’s AIDS foundation.
Once a child captivated by an opera singer in a red dress, Valentino Garavani formed his label in 1962, alongside partner Giancarlo Giammetti, and went on to craft exquisite pieces (in his signature shade of Valentino Red, no less!) for high society women including Jackie Kennedy, easily placing him among the ranks of fashion’s most celebrated figures.
With his trademark combo of ultra-camp creations and fetishistic elements, designer and perfumer Thierry Mugler was instrumental in paving the way for theatrical runway presentations. Mugler has been a vocal champion for the LGBT+ community, opening his 1992 show with legendary drag artist Lypsinka and collaborating with notable talents such as NYC icon Joey Arias.
Crowned British Designer of the Year four times over, the late Alexander McQueen was well-known for his provocative showcases and theatrical, avant garde designs. McQueen found inspiration in those from all walks of life and famously paid homage to queer icon Joan of Arc with his '98 fall-winter runway show.
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