Pride means a lot to us here at Beyond Retro, we're rainbow all year round! Not only is it a celebration for all our wonderful LGBT+ employees and customers but it’s a chance to try out new styles inspired by our favourite gay icons and feel fabulous. Without them, the face of fashion might truly never have been the same. Here are 12 of our most influential fashionable figures that were never into playing it straight.
The BBC’s recent The Assassination of Gianni Versace series had us all rummaging through the rails for 90s inspired, ostentatious, patterned golden treasures. Not only was Versace an out and proud gay man but he created some of the most iconic fashion collections of all time. Everyone who was anyone wore his show-stopping designs; from the likes of Princess Diana to catwalk royalty including Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford, Carla Bruni and Claudia Schiffer.
2. Beth Ditto
It may have been a decade since Standing In The Way Of Control first blasted through the radio waves but Beth Ditto is one of our forever favourites. Not only is she one of the boldest dressers we know but she’s a true icon for both the queer community and the body positive movements. As well as being a sick singer, she once even had a head-turning plus-size collaboration line with Jean Paul Gaultier and this dress was made for her by Giles Pearson: très iconique!
3. Munroe Bergdorf
The British activist and queen of our hearts were not only the first ever transgender model for L’Oreal, she left over a racial row (yes girl!) before being appointed as an LGBT advisor for the Labour party. On top of this, her outfits are next level. Imagine pop princess inspired and super femme looks inspired by Y2K and current trends.
4. Frank Ocean
Frank Ocean is a trailblazer in the hip-hop community for discussing sexuality more openly in the community in some of his most famous songs have pushed the boundaries of the hip-hop culture in a more mainstream way, there’s no denying that much of his work hints at his queerness in an incredibly subtle way. His style is equally as subtle and clean whilst still retaining an obvious cool factor, with slick streetwear and fresh kicks playing a major role in his wardrobe.
5. Olly Alexander
The Years And Years frontman has always been loud and proud about his sexuality but his wardrobe is truly a beacon of 90s inspired casual styling. From Tommy Hilfiger dungarees to sportswear and plain white tees, let’s not forget his scorching new red hair either.
There’s no way we could’ve made this list without Divine, the most notorious drag queen of all time. Famous for starring in an array of John Waters’ movies (most notably for licking an actual dog poo in Pink Flamingos and her two roles in the original Hairspray) as well as sickening performances including some absolutely amazing queer punk bangers. Divine’s unique style reminds us to stay true to ourselves and to keep up the everyday fight against monotony.
7. John Waters
It’s true that without John Waters, we wouldn’t have been as exposed to Divine as we needed to be, but this shocking cult icon is truly legendary all on his own. Known for his pencilled on moustache and super smart suits, he is as much of a style icon as he is a film maker and visual artist. After all, a film is nothing without the styling.
8. Holly Woodlawn
Potentially one of the most famous trans women of all time, Holly Woodlawn was an iconic actress and one of Andy Warhol’s many muses. She came out at an early age and lived fabulously up until last decade, always renowned for her glamorous dress sense and incredible brows. Woodlawn was a true idol, she even famously inspired Lou Reed’s Walk On The Wild Side, a tune which in itself is completely unforgettable. A champion of gender fluidity, she famously wrote in her autobiography "If I'm wearing pants, call me a man. If I'm wearing a dress, call me a cab!".
9. Tyler The Creator
Though Tyler has always referenced at being bisexual and the lyrics on his new track Scum Fuck Flower Boy where he admits to having “been kissing white boys since 2004” and fancying Timothy Chalamet has only confirmed it. He has always been a fashion icon, with his brand Golfwang fitting the coolest streetwear kids for the past eight years. His personal style is undeniably playful, using bright colours and loose fits, not forgetting his obvious love of statement snapbacks.
10. Elio (Call Me By Your Name)
If there’s one thing you need to do this Pride, it’s watch Call Me By Your Name. We won’t go into too much detail but it’s a gay love story set in the 80s, so obviously the clothes are amazing. Inspire your Summer wardrobe with these simple throwback staples, from chino shorts to polo shirts and Wayfarer sunglasses.
11. Laverne Cox
Not only was she the first ever openly transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award, LGBT+ advocate an Orange Is The New Black star Laverne Cox truly has bags of style. Her red carpet looks are simply stunning, opting for feminine and underground designers like Vitor Zerbinato and Melissa Mercedes, as opposed to the usual big names.
Not heard of SSION? Get to know hunny! He’s a singer so fabulous that he recently graced the cover of Dazed. Though his entire back catalogue is to die for, we’d recommend introducing yourself via his latest album “O” but his videos are fun and fabulous, perfect for lifting some style inspiration of your own. Guaranteed you’ll be wearing cow print before the season is through.
If you’re feeling inspired, brush down your pride outfit and get ready to be doused in glitter!
Pop down to our @eco.glitter.fun pop-up in our Soho store on Saturday 7th July, it’s eco-friendly and FREE! Head down from 11-2pm, be sure to get there early as it’s on a first come, first serve basis.
Check out our Pride edit and find yourselves some truly unique items!