Designer Kris Harring is a gender nonconforming queer person committed to making genderless queer fashion
Earlier this month, Bed-Stuy-based designer Kris Harring showcased her genderless and queer fashion in Brooklyn. The work offers both a wider selection of practical wear and a platform for gender nonconforming apparel geared towards placing people of color and those in the queer community at its roots.
“If you don’t see yourself represented in mainstream fashion, create it yourself.”
Harring’s achievements include a successful release of her first-ever collection titled, “NYFW SS18” showcased at the Richard Beavers Gallery. With the power and support she’s acquired in Bed-Stuy and the fashion industry, you probably wouldn’t think that she developed her collection only eight weeks ago, or that she holds down a 9-to-5 job in men’s fashion.
Harring says her “tomboy” ways of her youth led to her developing genderless and queer clothing and is also why the quote, “If you don’t see yourself represented in mainstream fashion, create it yourself,” appears on her website.
Asked about the steps in her process, she says she begins with the question: What is it that I personally feel I’m missing in my wardrobe?
“As I get to an age where I’m attending more formal events and weddings, me and my friends are starting to [ask ourselves more often], What do I wear?”
Answering this question has lead her genderless and queer fashion line into notable sources such as The New York Times, Qwear and New York Magazine Weddings.
But what exactly defines “queer fashion?”
According to Harring, “Queer fashion is whatever you want it to be. It has no boundaries or limitations.”
She continues, “My first client was my lesbian friend who couldn’t find anything that spoke to her. So, she asked me to make her wedding look. And that’s how I started doing custom work. The fashion industry can be very exclusive and archaic and I wanted to push forward and create what spoke to [the] queer and people of color [communities].”
During the process of finding a place to display her work, Harring had specific ideas in mind and says, “I wanted to have my show in Bed-Stuy.
“I wanted my show in my neighborhood, because this is where I get my creative inspiration. I specifically wanted to do it at a black-owned space.”
Harring stayed true to her mission with most, if not all, of her team hailing from Bed-Stuy.
Currently, Harring is working on producing small pieces and quantities of her first collection with pre-sale orders taking place within the next month. Also, she is running still her iFundWomen campaign which helped support the initial hiring of her models and team. Now she plans to use the money to fund the production aspect. The campaign will be running for the next two weeks.