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This piece appears as part of our initiative on Identity & Representation, a six-month-long project highlighting different facets of identity and how they shape the practices, conventions, and conversations happening in the Highsnobiety world. Head here for the full series.

On Fashioning Identity, Highsnobiety’s new podcast series, we examine how fashion intersects with identity. Every month, writer and host Sachin Bhola talks to some of the most inspiring people in the industry, alongside the voices of today’s youth, about a different subject centered around identity and representation. From gender to sexuality to race to socio-economic status to much more, Highsnobiety shines a light on marginalized voices in street culture.

With the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and WorldPride happening this month, we turn our attention to LGBTQIA+ people and their relationship to fashion. To begin, Valerie Steele, the director and chief curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, discusses the role fashion has played for queer people throughout history. She references “A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk,” an exhibit she co-curated that was the first in-depth look at LGBTQIA+ contributions to fashion over the past 300 years.

To get an understanding of the issues young queer people are facing today – and fashion’s role in telling their stories – Bhola speaks to a few leading voices in the community. The first is rapper Taylor Bennett, who came out as bisexual in 2017. Next, Pierre Davis and Arin Hayes, the founders of streetwear brand No Sesso, weigh in on fashion’s commodification of sexual identity, particularly around Pride. To get the perspectives of people who don’t work in fashion, Bhola solicits the opinions of Jackie O and Mercy Kelly from The Hetrick-Martin Institute.

One brand that has long been invested in supporting the LBGTQIA+ community is Gap, and its 2019 Pride campaign features author and activist Jodie Patterson. She talks about her chosen family and what she’s learned raising her transgendered son.

We then take a global perspective on the LGBTQIA+ identity and talk to Ian Daniel, co-host and co-producer of Gaycation, who gives us a snapshot of queer people’s experience around the world and their relationship to fashion.

This episode of Fashioning Identity examines the hardships and the triumphs of LBGTQIA+ people, thinks critically about the role fashion plays in their lives, and more. Listen above or on Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcher, or any of your favorite podcast apps.

ICYMI: On our last episode, Hood By Air’s Ian Isiah and more discuss fashion and gender. Listen to Fashioning Identity: Gender here.

  • Writer & Host: Sachin Bhola
  • Producer & Editor: Sonia Manalili
  • Talent Relations Manager: Meagan Keeler
  • Special Thanks: Erica Neizvestny
  • Guests: Valerie Steele, Taylor Bennett, Pierre Davis and Arin Hayes of No Sesso, Jackie O and Mercy Kelly from The Hetrick-Martin Institute, Jodie Patterson, and Ian Daniel
Branded Content Editor

Sachin Bhola is a New York City-based editor and writer.