Mic. Carter, a Toronto-based creative and creator of L’Uomo Strano, shares their perspective on non-binary fashion and why it’s important for social justice to be a part of fashion industry conversations.
What inspired you to get started in fashion?
I was inspired to start L’Uomo Strano after struggling for years to find affirming non-binary wardrobe staples. Simultaneously, I also desired to co-construct fashion spaces that would encourage dialogue surrounding issues of social justice. This was done primarily through shows that centred the lives, resilience, and joy of folks whose identities were frequently marginalized within traditional fashion institutions.
Fashion belongs to all. It has the innate power to transform, empower, and actualize.
When it comes to diversity and inclusion in the fashion industry, what’s the biggest change you’d like to see?
One aspect I’d like to see change is how diversity and inclusion initiatives are made sustainable within the industry, particularly with respect to funding. New labels — many of which are committed to diversity and inclusion work — often struggle to navigate the first few years of building their venture, and pathways to funding can ensure that the next generation of dynamic creators is able to thrive through every stage of its evolution.
Why is it important to have conversations about gender fluidity and gender-nonconformity in the industry?
Fashion belongs to all. It has the innate power to transform, empower, and to actualize. For far too long, the industry has relied on and invested in the gender binary, thus reinforcing its societal pervasiveness. Insisting on including gender-nonconformity in the conversation ensures that the notion of the gender binary is challenged at one of its roots, thereby creating space for a more inclusive sartorial future.