Influences of the LGBTQ Community on Modern Fashion

queer fashion
credit: Allan Franca Carmo

For as long as we can remember, clothes have been an integral part of human society. Mostly, they will protect us from the elements, but clothes also form the basis for your identification. Over the past century, clothes have been the definitive line between the genders – male and female.

So, what changed over the past half-century? Fashion is an ever-evolving concept, but the LGBTQ in fashion tends to stick to definitive statements and style, such as political or cultural landmarks.

What is the relationship between the queer community and the fashion industry?

influences of queer fashion
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A Queer Age

According to most sexuality studies, the 18th century was the definitive era where people acknowledged the difference between homo and hetero sexualities. The sexual regime prior lacked any distinction of the gay community, meaning all men dressed similarly.

During this period in London, gays started to use clothes as a form of identification. This is the precursor generation for the designers of women’s clothing.

Queer people take a keen interest in fashion because it helps them identify, communicate with other LGBTQ individuals, and fit in. However, the oppression and judgment in societies forced queer people into secrecy. As such, they learned to pay attention to clothing details more carefully. Technically, fashion is the tribe that unites and identifies queer people.

The Closet is Made of Glass

For years, LGBTQ fashion has had an unimaginable impact on the entire fashion industry. The relationship between sexuality and fashion is something that will be studied for years to come.

lgbtq androgynous fashion
credit: Toa Heftiba Şinca

Unlike the realm of mainstream fashion, individuals in the LGBTQ community tend to be very particular about what goes into their wardrobe. Does an item of clothing express their identity and sexuality? Does an individual feel comfortable in the orientation implied by certain clothes? Clothes offer a space or queer people to discover themselves and a platform to present themselves to others.

For a queer person, style goes far beyond looking nice. It is a form of self-expression. It’s really not surprising that some of the world’s most iconic designers and trendsetters are queer.

The Role of the LGBTQ Community in the Liberation of the Fashion Industry

If we’re being honest, it’s not impossible to get misguided about an individual’s sexuality or orientation based on how they dress. This can be credited to the increased flamboyance of the mainstream fashion industry.

Fashion houses have had to keep up with the increasing popularity of gender-fluid clothing while remaining true to the aesthetics of different LGBTQ subcultures. Although this might seem like a lot of pressure, it does reduce the rigidity of clothing across the spectrum.

queer fashion
credit: Rodnae Productions

We can’t truly say that gay men come with a creativity gene, but it’s also hard to ignore the amount of influence they have in fashion and design. Is this a justifiable bias? Although there are great heterosexual designers, gay men tend to understand the fashion assignment a little better.

According to most exhibitors, gay designers tend to be definitive and admired. They recreate traditional styles and statements, but they are assembled with greater sex appeal and more glamour. In addition, such pieces are made for the bold individual. Technically, gay designers created a fashion language that seems to be dominating the industry.

The Influence of Social Media on LGBTQ Fashion

There is very little research on the effect that social media has on the LGBTQ community. Nevertheless, we cannot afford to undermine the amount of influence of the LGBTQ across social media platforms.

At this point, queer influencers are taking over the internet. These platforms allow people to be experimental with their style. The LGBTQ in fashion understand that their taste is unique and constantly evolving, and it helps to have inspiration from different angles. If you’re on the lookout for the latest or classic LGBTQ fashion trends, you must get busy on your social media.

Here are three of the best fashion influencers of 2022:

1. Tyris Winter

This young Vans ambassador based his style on Black Beauty and the queer glamour of the 70s. Like anyone in the LGBTQ community, Tyris uses his style as a celebration of his queerness, Blackness, and his life.

It’s not hard to see why so many people are pulled to him.

2. Ziggy Mack-Johnson


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Mack is a designer, stylist, and influencer for the flamboyant. He describes his style as a flamboyant trade- meaning that every outfit he dons comes with a splash. As such, he seeks to create a balance between his flamboyance and masculinity.

3. Ylenia Riniti

A traveler and public figure, Ylenia is the perfect inspiration for the curious and experimental individual. Although their wardrobe is exclusively men’s clothes, Ylenia has proved over and again that queer people have unlocked ultimate fashion freedom. Ylenia Riniti can effortlessly create looks to suit elegance, casual, or sporty moods.

Although social apps are a great way to expand your fashion horizon, they might be overwhelming to an individual starting out. As such, it would be better to find a platform that narrows down to your LGBTQ subculture. Platforms such as the Taimi dating app and website offer tailored content to address particular interests. Looking for style inspiration or looks to try out? Want to learn how to pair and blend outfits? Dedicated blogs are the way to go.

As such, it is safe to say that not only does the community have a fashion aesthetic, but they are the backbone of the fashion industry, now and for many years to come.