dapperQ Infuses New York Fashion Week With Racial Diversity, Multifarious Gender Realness

feature image by Mira Steinzor

Fashion has always been about the next big thing. New York Fashion Week (NYFW) is held twice a year, and during those weeks, the city is a buzz with designers, models, actors, musicians, socialites and fashionisto(a)s all trying to out-phresh one another to be crowned the tastemaker du jour. However, one thing that is always fairly predictable and banal about NYFW is its lack of racial, ethnic, cultural, body, gender, and class diversity. Just last weekend, Melissa Harris-Perry dedicated a portion of her show to discuss some of these issues, highlighting statistics from Jezebel that indicate 82.7% of models featured on the runway during February’s NYFW were white.

Ema Lu in Androgyny

Behind the scenes: Model Ema Lu backstage wearing Androgyny. Photo by Mira Steinzor.

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, design houses are for the most part completely ignoring non cis-men who want to sport menswear.

Instead of just reporting on NYFW, dapperQ decided to take action and be the change we want to see. Our Managing Editor, Anita Dolce Vita, and Founder, Susan Herr, teamed up with Whitney Day Events to co-produce a diverse runway show for the unconventionally masculine.

Katrina Casino in Fourteen

On the runway: Model Katrina Casino wearing Fourteen. Photo by Erica Camille

Held on September 7th at This N That in Brooklyn, the show featured 13 models, including Autostraddle’s very own Katrina Casino, representing queer owned and operated brands designing menswear for masculine presenting women, gender-queers, and trans* identified individuals.

Designers 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.”

Nyx in Androgyny II

Model Nyx Zierhut wearing Androgyny. Photo by Erica Camille

Check out more photos from behind the scenes of this fab runway party on Whitney Day Events’ Facebook page.

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