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This LGBTQ+ Designer Is Speaking Up: "The Fashion Industry Must Take Several Big Seats"

POPSUGAR: How are you personally celebrating Pride Month this year?:
Ty McBride: I honor the space we are in and the evolution we have made since the year before. One great resource for those wanting to take a different view of Pride this year is checking out the LGBT History Instagram, which reminds us of the amazing events, people, and spaces that have gotten us to where we are.

"I truly believe that the gay community has to step up for our own, cherish our own, and heal our own community as we push for the same from society at large."

This year I will be celebrating Pride in a much more reflective and quiet space. My heart is currently thinking about our community, but especially the Black trans members of the LGBTQ+ family - the time for justice, equality, and honor for them is now. I truly believe that the gay community has to step up for our own, cherish our own, and heal our own community as we push for the same from society at large. Pride was started by our strong lesbian and trans sisters of color - it is time the community as whole steps up to support the entire spectrum of the rainbow.

PS: Who are your Pride heroes in the fashion industry?:
TM: André Leon Talley, I love old Marc Jacobs, and I recently rewatched Unzipped and fell deeper in love with Isaac Mizrahi. A lot of early tastemakers and trendsetters have paved the way for small LGBTQ+ brands like myself to be openly queer, totally out, and free to create: the Halstons, the YSLs, and those who pushed gender bounds before us when things weren't as open. I love that there are a bunch of queen indie brands blazing trails loudly and boldly in 2020! (I love Noto Botanics, Lockwood51, Syro, Patrick Church, Seeker.)

PS: What can the fashion industry be doing to be more supportive of the LBGTQ+ community?:
TM: The consumer base is more diverse than ever - brands are reaching every corner of the globe, so let's reflect that in the DNA of our own brands, platforms, and companies. I also have room to grow in this area, and I am here for the challenge. I want to push myself to really open my eyes to opportunities for inclusivity and a much-overdue relearning on the personal/brand level.

This LGBTQ+ Designer Is Speaking Up: "The Fashion Industry Must Take Several Big Seats"

Ty McBride launched "INTENTIONALLY ___________." in 2014 in Los Angeles, and six years later, the accessory brand is thriving. Perhaps you've seen those amazing "Per my last email" baseball caps on influencers or the coveted Willow sandals on Instagram. (Solange Knowles owns the Jones sandal, and when she posted them on her IGS, Ty said it was quite the moment.) McBride, who recently opened a store in Hudson, NY, and already has an outpost in Los Angeles, has one everlasting intention: to create the pieces that help you fill '____________s' in your personal style philosophy.

"We need diversity, and not just for queer people, not just among campaigns and social media, not just when people are watching."

I wanted to chat with him now more than ever because June is Pride Month, and Ty celebrates every year. (One of the charities his company recently funded was the Trans Justice Funding Project.) On a broader scale, Ty has some important messages for the fashion industry as a whole, which could stand to learn a few things about supporting the LGBTQ+ community as well as the Black community amid this time of horrible racial injustice spread across America.

Ahead, read more from my conversation with Ty, which focuses on his LGBTQ+ fashion heroes, his bestselling shoes, the new menswear line he just dropped, his nongender clothing (naturally, the amazing slogan hats fall into that category), and his current mission, which I now want to help him shout from the hilltops: "The fashion industry can start by taking several very big seats, and also several very big listening sessions. We need diversity, and not just for queer people, not just among campaigns and social media, not just when people are watching - we need it at the administrative level, at the editor/creative realm, at every level."

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