Behind the Concept
With the advent of Facebook in 2006, social media use has connected people in a way that seemed impossible even a few years earlier. While there is much to dislike about being hyper-connected, 24/7, one of the positive outcomes of social media is that it provides a place for otherwise fragmented communities to connect and engage. This couldn't be more true of the queer community. Social media, and the web more generally, provided a place to learn about sexuality, gender and romantic attachment, connect with support groups and organizations, and engage with people who shared common experiences and struggles. Being "different" didn't feel so lonely, no matter how you identified.
Out of the early chat rooms and Facebook groups have emerged more visible services and products specifically for queer people. Over the past few years, brands such as PlayOut Underwear, Kirrin Finch and Wildfang have launched fashion apparel and accessories for LGBTQIA+ customers. National brands have also taken note and are reaching out to queer customers with unisex and androgynous collections, including Uniqlo and Zara. And while the explosion of queer-friendly brands is exciting, information about these companies is through word-of-mouth, or a fair amount of web research by potential customers. After all, queer customers are in search of the perfect fit and style that fits their gender expression. Clearly, a need in the market had presented itself!
QueerCut was conceived by founders Joshua Williams and Antonia Predovan as a gender-free, online marketplace that brings all queer-friendly brands together. "Through our research, we were surprised to find that most online brands continue to use Women and Men as their top search and filter categories, even if they cater to a queer community. We wanted to create a marketplace that didn't assume gender binaries, but focused rather on fit and style, curated by queer influencers," comments Joshua. Antonia continues, "We knew we had to create a one-stop-shop for people to find a wide array of brands that considered queer customer needs and communicated fit beyond the gender binary." She continues, "there are so many great brands out there, that QueerCut will give them more market presence, and provide support and training to emerging brands, giving them the voice they deserve."
As a marketplace, QueerCut is meant to be an inclusive community that gives brands and customers a new way to connect. Not only will the website include the best queer shopping experience online, it's also a place to share and engage in our the Queer Style Stories project, where anyone can share their personal style stories. Plans are also underway to feature a new queer fashion podcast this fall.
"We hope people will become part of our pre-launch activities, especially by participating in our Customer Survey. Our goal is to customize the marketplace by taking into consideration our customer's feedback," says Joshua, "the more responses the better!" (Take the 6-8 minute survey here.)
The QueerCut marketplace is set to launch this fall. Follow us on social media for more information @queercut.
- Adrian Gray