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Elisabetta Bucciarelli


8 Gay Designers Who Revolutionised The Fashion Industry 

It is not a secret that gay men turn out to be the most successful fashion designers. Gay designers are now progressively touching all corners of society with their vogue style, which explains why gay men are ruling the world of fashion. Furthermore, gay men are brave and proud to reflect their thoughts that they can think like women and can design things that are even more creative than most female fashion designers. Gay men really enjoy designing clothes for both genders and do create some really fascinating and more daring fashion items. They are very interested in the fashion world. Therefore, they are more likely to create and design it.

When a gay man is giving any fashion advice, people are more likely to believe him over any straight man or over a woman. Bet4Pride has put together a list of the top 10 gay designers that have contributed to revolutionising the fashion industry. 

1. Gianni Versace – The Designer who Befriended the Top Celebrities

Gianni also designed costumes for the theatre and films. As a friend of Eric Clapton, Diana, Princess of Wales, Madonna, Elton John, Cher, Sting and many other celebrities, the Italian-born icon was the first designer to link fashion to the music world. Openly gay, Versace and his partner Antonio D’Amico were regulars on the international party scene. Gianni’s mother, Francesca owned an atelier and was a seamstress. The gay designer grew up watching her work and he designed his first dress when he was just ten years old. When it came to fashion shows, Versace pioneered the concept of filling the front row with celebrities and had top models such as Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, and Cindy Crawford.

2. Alexander McQueen – The Fashion Icon who Created Magic

Alexander McQueen

The clothes the London gay designer created went past their exquisite technical perfection. His figures were conceptual, provocative and have provided not only some of the most iconic moments of McQueen’s career but of fashion history and catwalks. A hologram of Kate Moss appearing ghost-like surrounded by flowing fabric; a model in a dress attacked by spray painting robots, and a human chessboard of models are just a few examples of the shows that he was able to put on. Lady Gaga wore his unmistakable Armadillo-shaped shoes while Britney Spears loved his ‘bumster’ style jeans that showed the backside cleavage to the public.

3. Tom Ford – From Gucci to TOM FORD

American fashion designer and filmmaker Thomas Ford is an American fashion designer and filmmaker. He launched his TOM FORD brand in 2006, having previously served as the Creative Director at luxury fashion houses Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. Ford’s talent doesn’t stop at fashion, but the gay designer also directed the Academy Award-nominated films A Single Man, in 2009 and Nocturnal Animals, in 2016. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Tom is one of the world’s foremost fashion designers and visionaries. You might picture a silver-haired man with Italian or French accents, on the contrary, the man who took Gucci from bankruptcy to a billion-dollar valuation is just a man who grew up in Texas. 

4. Yves Saint Laurent – The Man who Dared to Introduce the Tuxedo Suit for Women

Yves Saint Laurent, the French fashion designer who founded his fashion label. He is regarded as being among the leading fashion designers in the 20th century and probably the most consistently celebrated and influential gay designer of the past 50 years. Yves was able to adapt his style to suit the changes in fashion during his lifetime and approached fashion from a different perspective by wanting women to look comfortable yet elegant at the same time.

5. Karl Lagerfeld – The German Fashion Designer who Loved Paris and Drawing Caricatures

Karl Lagerfeld Plenary

Karl Lagerfeld is the veteran designer of the fashion world of the 2010s. He is famous and adored by the fashion elite who craves creativity, elegance and luxury items. The silver fox gay designer, also known as a romantic lover of young boys, or muscular guys, has entertained us with creations that are always fresh and filled by his intensity of happiness and love. We will all remember Lagerfeld for his signature white hair, black sunglasses, fingerless gloves, and high, starched, detachable collars.

6. Valentino – The Maestro of Italian Style

Valentino Garavani is Italy’s reigning fashion monarch. The gay designer has influenced a generation of designers and his gowns appear on the red carpet very frequently. Valentino was named by his mother after screen idol Rudolph Valentino and he became interested in fashion while in primary school. Of his style and his signature aesthetic, Valentino once said: ‘I am like a freight train. Working on the details, twisting them and playing with them over the years, but always staying on the same track.’

7. Jean-Paul Gaultier – The Inventor of the Infamous “Cone Bra”

Jean-Paul Gaultier, a French haute couture and prêt-à-porter fashion stylist who, in 1982, founded his eponymous fashion label. From 2003 to 2010, he also served as the creative director at French luxury house Hermès for womenswear. The gay designer also co-presented the tacky-tasty hilarious TV Series Eurotrash in the UK from the mid-90s till the mid-2000s. Gaultier is mainly famous for his sculptured costumes for Madonna during the nineties,

8. Marc Jacobs – The Fashion Stylist Who Finds Beauty in Things That Are Odd and Imperfect

The openly gay designer, Marc Jacobs, has developed his own label and starting his roaring career with Louis Vuitton. His signature style is more casual but still high-end with a street-savvy approach to fashion. Marc has a number of popular lines including Marc by Marc Jacobs, Stinky Rat and Little Marc, his children’s line. The American designer was voted number 14 on Out magazine’s 2012 list of “50 Most Powerful Gay Men and Women in America”. He recently got married to his long-time boyfriend, Charly Defrancesco.


Trans Models Rocked the Catwalk at NY Fashion Week

Diversity in Fashion, Thank You 2010s

Series of breakthroughs that challenged the status quo and opened doors for minority groups to be represented within all facets of the fashion business marked this decade. Moreover, it will also be remembered as a time of rapid change for inclusivity and diversity. This all happened thanks to a new generation of leaders. They listened to consumers and demanded that the truths of race, gender, body size, disability, and inequality be acknowledged. 


Trans models have always been an integral part of the fashion community, but rarely have they been allowed to live their full truth. Vintage stars like April Ashley, Caroline Cossey, and Tracey Norman rose to prominence for their talent. However, they experienced career difficulties the moment their gender became public knowledge. Unlike their predecessors, the current generation has been able to express themselves while retaining their presence in the public eye.

Not Your Usual Models

The diversity was not only focused on race. It also looks at differences in size, age and gender. According to the numbers, last season was particularly significant for trans models in New York City. Helmut Lang, under Shayne Oliver’s new artistic direction, sent out a parade of models from every walk of real life. Eckhaus Latta, who has an enormous club-kid following, staged a show featuring several non-models, including an eight-months-pregnant mom-to-be in an open-belly cardigan dress.

Trans Models are Models

Dominique Jackson Smiling

New York Fashion Week did not stop there! For the first time in history, designer Marco Morante and his underwear brand Marco Marco featured a runaway of entirely trans models. The models included Gigi Gorgeous, YouTuber socialite, Carmen Carrera, RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant, Aydian Dowling, activist, entrepreneur and one of the finalists for Men’s Health Magazine front cover, and former Attitude cover star Laith Ashley.


Other models included Transparent actress Trace Lysette and Pose stars, Dominique Jackson and Angelica Ross. Designer Marco Morante proudly said: “I wanted to create a space to celebrate trans bodies. It was an opportunity for their presence to be undeniable and reinforce that trans is beautiful.”

Marco Morante, the Long-Time Ally to the Trans Community

The designer is at the forefront of change for inclusion and celebration of trans beauty in fashion. The brand’s runway presentations are generally known to be shows full of glamorous, revealing looks. Past models have included contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race, beauty influencers like Nikita Dragun, and other well-known LGBT+ figures. Marco Marco’s show continued to elevate the conversation surrounding trans visibility in fashion. 


Geena Rocero national trans visibility

The New York Fashion Week show kicked off with actress, activist and supermodel Geena Rocero walking down the runaway platform in a flowing neon green wig, silver bedazzled top, and custom-made corset. The audience erupted in applause. One by one, an all-star trans models’ cast made their mark, with each look garnering more praise than the next.

The Marco Marco and its Collection Seven line

Nicki Minaj and Britney Spears wore this label, which is also known for its underwear and swimwear. It unveiled its Collection Seven line in 2018 at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom. Collection Seven received praise from a number of the show’s celebrity attendees, including chef and actor David Burtka, whose credits include How I Met Your Mother and A Series of Unfortunate Events with husband Neil Patrick Harris. 

Morante has featured transgender and non-binary models in his shows before. However, he highlighted that it became apparent that their presence was often overshadowed by cis gay men or cis gay men in drag. Thus, he opted to feature exclusively trans models this time around. An amazing cast of 34 openly trans models beautifully and proudly wore Marco Marco’s stunning underwear and swimwear designs.. To see a glimpse from the catwalk click here. Trans model and activist Laverne Cox posted a video accompanied by a very emotional and full of gratitude’s message.

Trans is Beautiful and so are Trans Models

Among the attendees at the Marco Marco New York Fashion Week show was Orange Is the New Black star Laverne Cox. She is also the founder of the #TransIsBeautiful campaign. Laverne started the campaign a few years back as she wanted it to be a way for trans folks to celebrate what makes them uniquely and beautifully trans. It wasn’t about how cis they can look. It was rather about celebrating those things about transgender people that are uniquely and beautifully trans. 

Tuesday, the 8th October was a crucial date for the LGBT+ community. Chase Strangio, a lawyer with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project, started to argue the anti-discrimination case in front of US Supreme Court on behalf of a transgender client. They fired his client from her job after coming out as trans in 2013. Laverne Cox is following the argument and actively reporting daily what is happening via her Twitter account.



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