Oakland Queer Fashion Week & Conference

This past week, SONSON, had the opportunity to showcase our luxury bow ties at Queer Fashion Week & Conference (QFW)—which was a 5 day event. The event was a perfect marrying of the diversity of fashion—from the blend of people that were involved to the avant-garde unisex fashion! The event was more than just about Queer Fashion or championing LGBT,  but it was about education and the community. Amongst it all, there were still questions on “What is does queer mean”, “What is Queer Fashion” and “How does one respond or support?”

Clearly the “Q” word has been used disparagingly over the years and during Queer Fashion week; we were educated on the meaning from various perspectives. In speaking to members of the LGBT community of various ages, some find the word offensive and some consider it a defined movement. For example, we spoke to a few African American Lesbian women in their late 50’s and they would prefer to be called lesbians vs queer. Queer for them was not a term of endearment but a validation or acceptance in today’s society and current generation.

The University of Michigan  has a full site dedicated to educating us on words and acronyms commonly used in American English for LGBT issues. The site defines queer as 1) an umbrella term sometimes used by LGBTQA people to refer to the entire LGBT community. 2) An alternative that some people use to "queer" the idea of the labels and categories such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, etc.  

Now that we have addressed the meaning of “queer”, how does this fit into fashion? The queer community has been at the forefront of the queer style revolution for decades. Curating fashion events to communicate their lives and journey, highlights the gender-bending need for the importance of diversity & inclusion. QFW further illuminated a sense of freedom through the art of fashion. These documented lifestyles can be found all over social media with various hashtags such as #dapperq, #queerchics, #lipsticklesbians #unisex.

The awareness of queer and queer fashion provides insight that WE are all looking to be understood and accepted with all of our differences. What better way to achieve this, then to hold an event dedicated to educating the community and providing a creative outlet to network and build relationships.  SONSON, did not have any expectations going into the event, but one thing is certain, Queer Fashion Week stressed the importance of “community”—community was the underlining mantra! As SONSON is dedicated to providing fashion from “one son to another,” being part of this event aligns with our mission—to serve as a catalyst for conversations by creating a meaningful impact for others through fashion, from one son to another.

With an event filled with education, fashion and community engagements, QFW2016 ended the weekend with a fabulous Sunday Brunch and bottomless! The ultimate celebration and finale to QFW2016!

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Fashion is an expressive storyteller, wear something to spark a conversation!"

Rashima Sonson