As Sean wrote two weeks ago, we're seeing a growing presence of trans models in mainstream fashion. This is awesome, and a sign that transgender awareness and acceptance are spreading. Despite these important gains, however, one issue remains apparent. And not just to us at Leo Roux Clothing - a number of our modeling candidates pointed it out when we asked them their thoughts on the current connection between the fashion industry and the transgender, genderqueer, and nonbinary communities.
A number of mainstream fashion labels, such as [H&M], [Barneys], [Michael Kors, and Chloé], have featured transgender models in their ad campaigns in recent years. Yet none of these labels is changing their approach to clothing beyond the faces they are selecting for their campaigns. Transgender people frequently have different needs when it comes to clothing, and ironically the clothing these trans models exhibit is not designed to fit or flatter the majority of trans bodies. What we are left with, to a significant degree, is a case of trans inclusion for the sake of cisgender fashion - and what the trans community needs is fashion for transgender people - accessible, affordable fashion.
That is why we are starting our clothing line. Due to the way the industry currently functions and prioritizes its customer base, it would be unrealistic to expect these larger, established labels to change how they go about clothing and fashion.
So what does it take to bring a trans-friendly larger-scale clothing line to life? It takes a dark horse, a startup company that is able to shape its own brand to represent and validate the community, free from the constraints of the status quo. It takes an online store, with no middleman and minimal overhead, to pass savings on to the trans consumer and to approximate cis clothing retail prices. And beyond that, it takes a whole lot of innovation. Cis fashion and clothing have been developing and evolving for a very long time, and it takes quite some craftsmanship to stand certain conventions on their head and simultaneously emulate them perfectly. To quote the TV series, Futurama, "When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all."