Everybody I told about L.A. Equality Fashion Week asked me if Mikey was involved so I wanna say right off the bat that she was not. I’m not sure what Mikey is up to these days, but I hope she feels well-tented.
Luxury gender-neutral footwear designer NiK Kacy is, in fact, the brilliant human behind Los Angeles’ inaugural “Equality Fashion Week,” a 5-day celebration that launched this past Friday at the explicitly queer-friendly Montrose Hotel West Hollywood. This is surprisingly a first for the city — DapperQ has been hosting events at New York Fashion Week for five years, Rainbow Fashion Week has been a thing in New York since 2013, Oakland started its queer fashion week in 2015 and London’s first event of this type happened last year.
Queer designers are often shut out of mainstream fashion weeks like LAFW and NYFA due to the financial investment required to participate, and with this event, Kacy wanted to make space for the innovators whose work is often co-opted by the mainstream but rarely given the spotlight it deserves. “Despite not being considered a fashion Mecca,” Kacy told The Standard, “LA is the Mecca for queer innovation and creativity. LA has a plethora of LGBTQ Folx with creative minds. Because this is the first of this event, I wanted to focus all the talent on local people in Southern California.”
Photographer Robin Roemer and I were invited to the opening-night fashion show by our dear friend Ellen Ford of Sharpe Suiting. Molly Adams was there shooting as well and therefore this post contains photos from both Robin and Molly. It’s like collaging with the stars!
On a group chat with Robin and Ellen a few days before the show, Robin sent a pic of Anna Wintour and Andre Leon Talley at the front row of Paris Fashion Week and said “this is us” and I was like “correct.” I did my best Anna:
That’s all you need to know, let’s look at the show!
5:30 PM: Run of Show Rehearsal with DJ Amara, Carmen Carrera & Designers
Models from the six featured LGBTQ-owned brands — many of whom were walking a fashion show for the first time — gathered on the rooftop to run through the show.
6-7pm: Queertet Pre-Show Cocktail Hour For Guests, Final Makeup & Hair for Talent
Because it was a lesbian-adjacent event in Los Angeles, I ran into a girl I played soccer with in 4th grade and Sarah Croce and also a number of successful YouTube personalities. They gave us a lot of sparking rose and obviously Noted Bisexual Millenial Gaby Dunn was there, wearing a custom-fitted Sharpe Suiting suit with skull buttons:
Backstage, final makeup and hair (service donated by Toni & Guy) was underway.
7:00 PM – The Show Begins
Leon Wu‘s Sharpe Suiting provides custom suits “to fit your specific style or body type, no matter how you identify.” I recently witnessed a Sharpe Suiting fitting and it was so cool! We’ve been fans of this brand for a long time.
Futuristic rave-wear and devastatingly sexy wedding dresses abounded.
Performance by Mads Paige
Founded by partners Vicky and Charisse Pasche, DapperBoi is a gender-neutral everyday clothing line for androgynous individuals of all body types.
Fem/Haus LA is a made-to-order collective selling upcycled, hand-block-printed apparel and advocating for femme visibility.
Performance by Mortasay
Founded in 2010 by Stoney Michelli & Uzo Ejikeme, Stuzo is a genderless clothing company for “the non-conforming and bold at heart.”
NiK Kacy Footwear
The show closed out with NiK Kacy Footwear, a luxury label of gender-free footwear and accessories.