It’s June, which means it’s also Pride month, a celebration of the rich community of LGBTQIA+ people. While you can find Pride merch in many mainstream stores this month, consider supporting a small, LGBTQIA+ owned business instead. (You know I love my indie brands!) If you’re looking for shops featuring j-fashion, look no further than these brands!
Mezzogram is an artist based in Germany, whose bright, colorful designs are obviously inspired by kawaii fashion. In addition to their own designers, they collaborate frequently with Swiss brand Fluffy Tori, including some of their Pride collection.
US based brand Candy Trap creates apparel and accessories in hyper saturated colors perfect for Decora fashion. If you’re looking for a colorful outfit for Pride celebrations this month, look no further than Candy Trap! You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok, and Facebook.
Indie brand Magical Girl Me is a US accessory shop specializing in pastel, sweet accessories. Her themed collections include “Magical Warrior”, “Sweet Treats”, “Under the Sea”, “Witchy”, and “Fairytales.” Magical Girl Me is a self hosted shop, and while you’re there, you can check out her blog and YouTube channel.
US based Porcelain Song is a gothic accessory brand with a particular focus on rosaries. If you’ve watched a rosaries without the Catholic imagery, Porcelain song is brand for you!
Lolita indie brand A Gato Designs creates clothing, accessories, and jewelry for sweet, gothic, and classic styles. Their shop is currently only open to their Patreon members, but it will open up for the general public later this summer. You can find their items on their website, at the Lolita Collective, and follow them on Instagram and Facebook.
US based Noble Ghost Fashion creates gothic and lolita apparel with a definite alternative bent. If you love the look of bustiers but want something a little more industrial, their zipper front “Elsinore” vest or “Rococo denim coat” are perfect for you. You can follow them on Instagram and visit their shop on Etsy.
US based Belladona Fashion makes lolita fashion items. They are the geniuses behind the iconic Ice Cream Shoppe release! Belladona Fashion has been busy with conventions, but their online shop should be open in the next week.
UK based indie brand R.R. Memoradum specializing in old school inspired lolita pieces, as well as graphic totes, tees, and sweaters. They’ve released a “Sapphic Pride” print on demand collection just in time for Pride. Follow them on Instagram or Facebook, check out their blog, or visit their shop.
US based Clammyheart makes kawaii apparel, including embroidered hats, bags, and clothing, original knitwear, and in house designed wet felted creations. Clammyheart released a Pride collection featuring their handmade berets! You can find them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, or visit their shop.
US based accessory and home goods brand Lipton Cunningham makes historical inspired pieces that work well in gothic and classic lolita, as well as ouji! They also vend at local events in and around San Jose. You can find them at the Reclaimation Fim Festival and Art Market at the Tech Interactive on June 25 and 26. DM them on Instagram or Facebook to purchase.
Supporting these brands is a fantastic way to make a difference in the life of an LGBTQIA+ person, but it shouldn’t be the end. While Pride celebrations are now hosted by cities around the world, it’s important to remember that these festivities are in remembrance of the Stonewall Uprising. Helmed by Black and Latinx transwomen, the protests were in direct response to laws that threatened the safety and lives of LGBTQIA+ people. More than 50 years later, laws still threaten the safety and dignity of queer individuals, especially the trans community.
In the United States alone, more than 300 bills affecting LGBTQIA+ people have been proposed this year, with at least 140 bills specifically affects trans youth. Reach out to your elected officials and talk to them about laws affecting the LGBTQIA+ community. If you live in a place that’s strengthening laws around sexual and gender identity, consider donating orgs and mutual aid funds that are helping the LGBTQIA+ community in other places, like the Trevor Project or the Sylvia Rivera Law Project.