VERGE featured eight designers whose work is systemically rooted in notions of gender nonconformity and its intersections with race, ethnicity, and culture.
dapperQ owner, Anita Dolce Vita understands the importance of queer fashion events outside mainstream fashion, despite the mainstream's growing interest in "androgynous" and "agender" trends. She notes the importance of queer style's dedication to tearing down beauty standards, as well as the importance of giving people the spotlight who inspired these "trends" in the first place.
Anita says, "Queer style should not simply be reduced to white, cis gay male fashion designers creating binary, gender normative, heteronormative collections to fit the fashion industry's unattainable beauty ideals. VERGE was about inclusion and dismantling everything we've been taught about beauty norms rooted in ableism, classism, fatphobia, ageism, racism, misogyny, transphobia, and self-hate. Further, queers who have inspired much of what we're seeing now in mainstream style should be at the forefront of the current style revolution. Queer style is intrinsically tied to our identities and is thus a movement."
Transgender model Ryley Rubin Pogensky appreciated VERGE's dedication to people of color, stating, "It's monumentally important for shows like these, with such strong representation of people of color, to exist in fashion. If the so called 'mainstream' fashion world won't make room for us, we will make room for ourselves. We will declare our queerness, and all that goes with it: our femininity, our masculinity, our in between, our everything. The fashion world would like to tell us that androgyny is only worthwhile when it is white. Shows like this show us how wrong and unfounded that belief is."
Everyone who worked to make VERGE a success is a huge inspiration to us at Qwear and we are excited to see what's to come in the uprising of queer voices in fashion.
As Qwear's Founding Editor, Sonny’s work centers around envisioning a future in which the clothing people wear does not dictate their chances of survival. Sonny was awarded 2015 dapperQ of the Year and was the first trans blogger to be sponsored by Topman. In March 2016, Sonny spoke at South by South West's first official queer fashion panel.