Depop — the peer-to-peer shopping app that, in the nine years since its launch, has also become a community-based platform for creatives — recognises that fashion is an integral mode of self-expression for the queer community. That’s why, in celebration of Pride Month, the popular app offered some of its LGBTQIA+ sellers a platform to share their thoughts — on style, identity, and more — with the entire Depop community.
“Fashion helps queer individuals figure out their personal style,” Vivienne Gomez, a trans fashion designer featured in the campaign, told Refinery29. “But I think it goes deeper than that.” Gomez sells her designs through her Depop store page @parkavenueputa. “Wearing things that I create is the biggest way that I express myself through fashion,” she says. “Fashion plays a role in self-discovery and protection. Identifiers like clothing help the queer community stand in solidarity with each other, without having to say much or nothing at all.” Gomez designs clothing that makes her feel beautiful and comfortable as a trans woman, she says. In doing so, she hopes she makes her customers feel beautiful, too.
Some of the other sellers that Depop highlighted include Michael Board II, a performance and visual artist who sells inclusive fashion at his eclectic shop @thekahlo; Finn Barrett, an artist who prints his drawings on T-shirts and sweatshirts and sells them via his shop @fnnngn; artist Xiah Perry of the store @hevviflo; Jade Laurice, a painter, poet, and entrepreneur who sells her poetry printed on clothing at her shop @pocalondon; and Naeeja, a writer and musician who sells vintage clothing both on Instagram and through their Depop shop @hoodornamence.
“Growing up Black and queer, I had always felt undervalued and casted out. Fashion is where my confidence and sense of belonging stems from,” Michael Board II told Depop's blog. Finn Barrett uses clothing as a means of protection. “Clothing is an extremely crucial safety net for someone like me," he told Depop. "Personally, as a trans individual, clothing and having just the right fit is pivotal to my day to day struggle with dysphoria."
“Fashion allows me to channel my emotions and my inner self into a look,” Naeeja told R29. “Whenever I go out — and now that I am staying in — I wear something that represents how I’m feeling, or sometimes if I’m in a mood, how I want to feel. I love dressing myself up to get out of a funk and doing a photoshoot just for myself.”
“I believe how members of the LGBTQIA+ fashion themselves can be a lifeline,” they continue. “For many, it’s the initial glimpse of what it would look and feel like to live out what’s in your soul. And sometimes, it may start small, with just one pair of heels, or one loose-fitting shirt that allows one to look in the mirror and see a side of themselves they aren’t familiar with but would like to get to know.” For Naeeja, fashion allowed them to also discover parts of themselves. “Even before I knew I was nonbinary, I began to dress in ways that I previously didn’t think I was allowed to, yet I began to create space for myself, for all of the facets of my identity.”