Wildfang’s Founder Discusses Non-Binary Fashion
June is Pride Month, and to celebrate the LGBTQ + community, we’re talking to some of our favorite queer-own and queer-run brands to highlight their missions and favorite products.
We had the chance to speak to Emma McIlroy, the founder of Wildfang, an inclusive, dazzling fashion company founded in Portland, Oregon around 2013. She told us: “It all started in the men’s department of an urban outfitter. ”
“My boyfriend and I were walking around Urban Outfitters – my boyfriend wanted a great blazer and I wanted a graphic t-shirt. All of the graphic t-shirts in the women’s department were soft, floral, and crew neck, ”said Emma. “Well, that sucks.”
She said she found her perfect graphic tee in the men’s department, and her friend found a great blazer too.
“We thought: Is that really the case? Why does gender have something to do with a great blazer or t-shirt? We started thinking about certain silhouettes that were gender specific and why half the population didn’t have access to great styles. “
Ultimately, Emma said, “Tomboy exists to address gender norms through fashion. There are so many ways we have been held back and forced into a box. Clothing is inherently gender neutral and non-binary. We packed all this luggage in – and we just say, fuck it. “
One of Emma’s favorite styles has got to be tomboy essential jumpsuit.
“When we started making these, the overalls that were on the market were either very heavy or poorly made. Ours is none of these things. We don’t expect you to do a 12-hour workday in it. We didn’t want to put it on and feel like we were carrying a garbage bag. We wanted it to look really cool. There was no one who managed this combination of quality and fashion, and our overalls hold up too. “
“Ours have a bit of stretch and the best part is they get dressed in 60 seconds. It’s super versatile and looks damn cool (especially on some Air Force ones). “
Emma said Tomboy will keep expanding, creating, and shattering. “We want to smash all gender norms that exist in department stores,” she said, “and that is exactly what we will continue to do.”
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