An incredible new fashion line is in the works with a focus on individuals who identify as butch, androgynous straight women and trans men.
Called HauteButch, the line of both clothing and footwear is the reportedly first US-based LGBT clothier to take on such a task, and aims to provide more masculine and gender-neutral clothing for individuals whose frames differ from the bodies these clothes are traditionally made for in the mainstream.
With a desire to become a lifestyle brand for their community, HauteButch is currently engaged in a Kickstarter campaign in order to fund its 2015 collections. The Huffington Post chatted with Karen Roberts, designer and founder of HauteButch, this week about her vision for the line.
The Huffington Post: Why did you decide this line of clothing line is so important?
Karen Roberts: I decided it was important first based on my own lack of fashionable alternatives as a professional butch woman, followed by the expressed, shared frustration of my peers. Our fit and style preferences were not met in the mainstream retail arena and we weren't necessarily welcome in the men’s department. I can remember the looks on some faces… the sales people had no idea what to do with me, but one thing was clear -- if I just went away, it would make it easier for them than to have to “help” me. It’s not just about fashion; this line of clothing represents choice and freedom for an under-served community.
Is this clothing intended for exclusively for queer women and trans men or are you trying to reach a wider audience?
Our clothing is designed to cover a spectrum of style-seekers that include butch or queer women, straight women that prefer an androgynous aesthetic and trans men. Many of our customers are straight women and even some straight men. We don’t wish to exclude anyone from wearing our line. If it fits your style and personality, we embrace you.
What kinds of clothing will you produce?
Currently we are producing a handsome new collection of button up shirts and our Gotham jacket, designed and crafted with the utmost care and sophistication.
We have obsessed over fit, fabrics and finishes to be able to proudly offer a fashion brand to the community that we love and honor. In the near future, we’ll be offering two gorgeously masculine tuxedo shirts which we are very excited about bringing to market, accompanied by military-inspired vests and eventually a line of trousers.
Do you see movements like this to have clothing for queer bodies as evident of larger social changes?
I’m of the opinion that overall, we have become much more visible in the eyes of society. We have demanded to have our political views heard, the right to define our own bodies, to publicly have our marriages acknowledged, to see our children uplifted in blended communities and as a result… our community is evolving and simultaneously blending on many, many levels; the fashion industry being one of those.
Head here to check out the HauteButch Kickstarter.