Written by Aurora FashionFaguette

Queer fashion's journey reflects society's evolving perception of gender identities, breaking free from traditional norms, and boldly challenging the gender binary. In fashion campaigns, on runways, and in new and unexpected collaborations, LGBTQ+ representation now marks a progressive movement towards embracing diversity. 

Visionary queer designers like Christian Siriano and Raf Simons are reshaping our cultural aesthetics with progressive designs, revolutionary ways of shaping the body, and in their boldly inclusive casting. This year’s NYFW shined a spotlight on queer designers redefining how we think about queerness, gender, and our own bodies. Here are 5 queer designers who challenged our expectations by redefining gender norms, and exploring the intersection of queer art, fashion, and the world around us.

FANG F/W 2024

The trailblazing ready to wear label founded by Fang Guo, FANG NYC, founded in 2021, has adeptly created its niche by exploring contemporary urban visuals. Its portfolio showcases a unique fusion of opposites, bridging harsh metal embellishments with sumptuous knitwear. Guo has an exceptional talent for weaving visual signifiers of disparate subcultures into a single garment as in Fang’s Jacquard Knit/Denim Fang Long Sleeve Top. Here, metal hardware, denim, and knitwear play off each other, juxtaposing organic with industrial, soft with sharp, and delicate with durable.

Ludovic de Saint Sernin, the distinguished French designer, debuted his first collection at NYFW this year, and is acclaimed for his brand which features sensual, gender-fluid designs. Saint Sernin merges traditional craftsmanship with contemporary aesthetics like his notorious feather bra for Ann Demeulemeester. His avant-garde designs investigate the boundaries of fashion and have established him as a captivating industry figure. In his ongoing collaboration with Swarovski, he continues to explore how to work with crystals in a modern reflection on the Y2K McBling era that’s becoming more popular.


Christian Cowan F/W 2024

British-born designer Christian Cowan distinguishes himself with bold and vibrant pieces that fearlessly defy established fashion norms. His work highlights experimentation with color, texture, and unconventional silhouettes, and has established him as a distinct force in contemporary fashion. He will always be a name to look for as his designs never seem to repeat themselves. His clothes weave a career-long narrative that’s consistently ahead of its time. Cowan's audacious designs celebrate individuality, which makes him a noteworthy figure who’s reshaping the intersection of glamor and personal expression. 


Phlemnus F/W 2024


James Flemons leads Phlemuns, a line that’s renowned for gender-neutral and sustainable designs. Flemons has said that he makes clothes for the “introverted extrovert” which is evident in his relaxed yet fashion-forward aesthetic. He subverts familiar denim tropes with patchwork, distressed finishes, and by combining it with other materials like leather. Away from New York and the physical fashion sphere, Flemons opens up about his frequent suppression on Instagram, and says he’ll soon move to a more fan based following on OnlyFans. Will this change the way he designs in future years? We’ll have to wait to find out. 

Pieces by LaQuan Smith leave a lasting impression. Their glamorous and body-confident designs are at once loud and quietly elegant. His work emphasizes empowerment, challenging beauty standards, and fostering inclusivity by highlighting curvier women of all shades rather than the 6 foot tall white woman most designers favor. The importance of this kind of representation on runways and in campaigns can’t be overstated. In his bold casting, Smith makes a radical challenge to his audience: to embrace their unique identities, regardless of how uncomfortable others may be. 

After this NYFW, I'm eagerly preparing to update my SSENSE cart with selections from these designers while keeping a keen eye on Vogue Runway. Crafting my summer wardrobe with a touch of Carrie Bradshaw flair is the goal. New York Fashion Week sets the tone, and these designers signal a season of sartorial excellence so we can all cruise in style.

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