Since dapperQ’s inception, we have seen a proliferation of blogs, models, and brands dedicated to serving and representing our market: style for masculine presenting women, gender-queers, and trans* identified individuals. We wanted to celebrate this movement towards more diversity and inclusion by co-producing with Whitney Day Events our first ever New York Fashion Week runway show and after party featuring these designers, models, and style writers.
Brands featured on the runway included: Kreuzbach10, Ambiance Couture, Saint Harridan, Original Tomboy, Fourteen, Charlie Boy, and Androgyny. Four of these brands were listed in Buzzfeed’s “9 Androgynous Clothing Brands You Should Know.” Two brands on the list that couldn’t make it in person, Wildfang and Marimacho, donated prizes to giveaway to our attendees.
This event was extremely important to us, because, one thing that is always fairly predictable and banal about NYFW is its lack of racial, ethnic, cultural, body, gender, and class diversity. Last week, Melissa Harris-Perry dedicated a portion of her show to discuss some of these issues, highlighting statistics from Jezebel indicating that 82.7% of models featured on the runway during February’s NYFW were white. In recent years, there has been a tiny amount of casting diversity with respect to gender, such as Casey Legler being signed as a male model. And, while this gives us a glimmer of hope, we are still waiting to see whether this change will gain momentum or if it is just a novelty flash in the pan. As it stands, mainstream design houses are for the most part completely ignoring those who want to sport menswear but who are not cis-men.
Partnering with DJ Whitney Day for our first NYFW show was a logical choice, not only because she has a reputation in NYC for throwing the most amazing parties for the LGBTQ community and our allies, but because she too has struggled with finding attire that reflects her gender presentation. When she posted a Facebook status update documenting how difficult it was to find a wedding suit, we thought, “She gets the struggle.” (We heard she finally found the perfect Roberto Cavalli suit.)
Ambiance Couture offered a splash of femme realness, demonstrating that, even if you don’t feel comfortable wearing a traditional bow-tie, you can always rock one on a chain!