“When you become the image of your own imagination, it’s the most powerful thing you could ever do.” -RuPaul
In honor of Pride month this June, we compiled a list of LGBTQ+ fashion and beauty icons. From RuPaul to David Bowie, there’s not an inch of the fashion industry that the LGBTQ+ community hasn’t touched. Fashion, beauty, and the Queer community have always been intertwined. Clothing and makeup has always been used as an outlet for creative expression. The people on this list show their creativity, fierceness, and resilience through the art of fashion and beauty.
Of course, we had to start this list with the iconic RuPaul. RuPaul is an American drag queen, famously known for the reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race, where drag queens compete with others for a cash prize. He rose to prominence in 1993 upon the release of his debut single “Supermodel (You Better Work).” Since the start of his career, he’s been a vocal member of the LGBTQ+ community and continues to use his platform to bring awareness to queer issues. He partnered with MAC Cosmetics in 1994, has won 11 Primetime Emmys for RuPaul’s Drag Race, and was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME magazine in 2017.
PHOTO: MASAYOSHI SUKITA/ MORRISON HOTEL GALLERY
Rock icon, David Bowie (1947-2016), changed the music industry forever. His invigorating performances, eclectic jumpsuits, and profound lyrics inspired a generation of LGBTQ+ youth to be bold and brave. He hasn’t always been open about his sexuality, but when he came out as gay in 1972, according to Longreads.com, “ it was the closet door heard 'round the world.” Bowie was known to wear intricate, colorful, pieces that not only fit his persona, but made waves in the fashion and beauty world. His hits “Ziggy Stardust,” “Space Oddity,” and “Heroes,” among others, are certified classics.
Gaining major attention from her role as Sophia Burset in Orange is the New Black, Laverne Cox has been booked and busy ever since. The American actress and LGBTQ+ advocate is making history. She became the first transgender woman to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for her role in Doubt and the first transgender woman to win a Primetime Emmy in Outstanding Special Class as an executive producer for Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word. Her red carpet looks often mix style and activism, as seen in her outfit for the 2019 Emmy Awards.
PHOTO: NEILSON BARNARD/ GETTY
This would not be a complete list of LGBTQ+ fashion icons without Billy Porter. His red carpet looks always leave us with our jaws on the floor due to his attention to detail, flair, and overall perfect execution. The American actor has an impressive Broadway background, acting in productions like Grease and Smokey Joe’s Cafe, before embarking in his pop vocalist career. Porter was the first openly gay black man to win an Emmy for his role in Pose. His 2019 Met Gala look is one for the books!
PHOTO: EUGENE ROBERT RICHEE/ GETTY
German-American actress and singer Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992) was one of the biggest actresses to come out of the early 20th century. Her elegant style was the epitome of Old Hollywood, but her impact on the LGBTQ+ community is timeless. Dietrich was openly bisexual, dating both men and women publicly, and enjoyed visiting gay bars and drag balls. She refused to comply with conventional gender roles through clothing by wearing tuxedos and in her free time, she boxed at a professional boxing studio, even though women weren’t allowed to at the time. Dietrich was known for her movies like Morocco and Shanghai Express, and for humanitarian efforts during World War II.
This month, in honor and celebration of Pride month, we’re offering 15% off your StyldLife appointments. Enter ‘PRIDE’ at checkout to receive your discount. Celebrate Pride by uplifting the voices of the LGBTQ+ community, educating yourself on Queer history, and empower yourself and those around you. As RuPaul says: "If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?” Happy Pride!