Qwear showcases LGBTQIA+ modes of expression to expand our visual representation.
Sonny Oram is a writer, trans advocate, and artist. Sonny has produced several fashion shows with Qwear in collaboration with Fashion Director and Sonny’s partner, Rupi. Their most recent show Femme Desire was a site-specific fashion installation at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston that exposed the limits within which fashion designers and society put on the expression of femininity. Sonny’s work centers around envisioning a future in which the clothing people wear and the ways in which they present themselves 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.
Rupi serves a dual-role of Fashion Director and Fashion Designer in which she seeks to dismantle preconceived notions of gender expression and explore the identity constructs of queer fashion. Rupi’s goal is to provide a platform for the community to share their stories with the aim of demystifying the borders of queer fashion and reinforcing queering fashion as an intimate experience closely related to one’s individuality. Rupi’s work examines what queer fashion signifies, explores the outcomes that queer performance produces, and reflects on the modes in which the queer self shapes mainstream fashion. She challenges the conventional arrangement of queer fashion as a concept too superficial to be anything but hyperbolic and convenes on the direct queer experience by delivering content that blurs all boundaries.
Hailing from Scotland, with Trinidadian roots, this veteran designer and activist has immersed herself in queer theory and fashion for nearly a decade. A graduate of Rhode Island School Of Design, Rupi merges her knowledge of queer theory and critical race theory with her passion for fashion. Recently, her work has been presented at Queer Fashion Week (2015), Rainbow Fashion Week (2015) and the Institute Of Contemporary Art, Boston (2016).
Blake is a graduate student in the Midwest studying higher education. She draws inspiration from the southern prep style, particularly the style at her undergraduate institution at the University of Virginia. Her current wardrobe largely consists of basic pieces in natural fabrics, simple colors, and carefully tailored fits. Blake is interested in adapting classic, well-composed style to queer masculine-of-center bodies of any size.
Ashleigh Bingham, better known as “Bing, creator of I Dream of Dapper, is a dapperwear Tumblr style icon. She contributed to popularizing the long-haired "queer pomp" and is known for her daring pattern mixing, complimentary rich colors, lapel pins, wild thrift finds, variety in neckwear (featured in her "50 Days of Dapper" project), & ability to write about Harry Styles. In the past, Bing has contributed to Autostraddle, and has been featured on DapperQ, S Moda, Hudson, Buzzfeed, and included in the top 10 of a national menswear online competition. With a tendency to mix fashion with satire, Bing aims to explore fashion as a tool for self-expression rather than an industry. By day, Bing works with the Women’s & Gender Studies program at Ball State University where she is also working toward a Doctorate of Education.
Mojo Disco is an artist, writer, culture coach, and event curator from NYC. Creator of the popular underground event Paint and Poetry and MUA at MojoDiscoNYC.
Mojo's motto is "Too Proud, Too Free" symbolizing the ideology of challenging society's norms through queer fashion, knowledge, and love.
Courtney Stirn, @menswearhero, is a 5' 2" masculine of center fashion enthusiast from the Midwest. Drawing influences from American heritage details, as well as travels abroad, their personal style aims to mix genres and craft a unique look. Courtney particularly enjoys juxtaposing luxe fabrics and details with streetwear, and finding the contemporary in historical menswear. They have a wealth of experience styling friends of various gender identities and interests, and would love to help folks who have trouble finding small size/petite clothing.
Born and raised in The Bahamas, A.L. Major is a writer, social media specialist, mentor and lover of all things fashionably queer. They received their MFA from the Helen Zell Writer’s Program at the University of Michigan, where they received the Hopwood Novel Award. A.L. believes that it’s through fashion that we can disrupt our notions of what it means to be black, queer, trans, man, woman, dork, alien...You get the idea. Style, when it comes down to it, is just the confidence (and freedom) to express your true self and A.L. loves witnessing what their community has to offer. A.L’s work has appeared in Vice and Subtropics. Their novel is...in progress.
Sarah Rose is a multi-dimensional artist, yogi, and holistic healer from the northeast. Her passion is to make alternative healing modalities accessible to the community, and doing so in style-- a style that is heavily influenced by the punk subculture, with roots in the Southasian subcontinent. She is slowly but surely working on a sci-fi novel that she hopes to eventually release to the public. Find her words/thoughts on Meraki and Tumblr.