Millennials Launch Maternity Fashion Line For Expecting GenderQueer Parents
With pregnancy comes preparing for one’s new identity as a parent and especially for women, preparing for a new body type while carrying your “love on top.”
In the past five years the fashion industry has upgraded maternity clothing designs to ensure moms-to-be will feel confident and sexy during their pregnancy. However, expecting genderqueer women who wear androgynous clothing have no other option than to wear maternity clothing that is hyper-feminine and does not quite fit their personal style.
The founders of ButchBaby & Co. have launched an “alternity” maternity line for Fall 2015 that will acknowledge the personal styles of the LGBTQ community. ButchBaby & Co. creator Vanessa Newman (pictured left) says the idea stemmed from visions of herself and best friend pregnant. She shared via their website:
“Butchbaby & Co. began with two best friends and a dream. I met my best friend freshman year of college. It was bromance at first sight, and after we hit it off on the first week, we knew we’d be friends forever. We dreamt of growing old together, getting married not too far apart from each other, and having children at the same time so that they too could repeat the cycle of friendship. The thing was, the both of us are butch. Whenever we envisioned our future together, the dream always stopped short at carrying children. We both knew we wanted to, but we could never imagine what we’d wear. And when we did imagine ourselves in pregnant butch attire, that’s exactly what it was— only a figment of our imaginations because these clothes didn’t exist. Then one day, it hit me: I could change that. I could create more androgynous apparel not just for myself, but for every masculine identified individual who dreams of carrying a child and looking handsome doing it. Instead of ‘maternity’ wear, I would create ‘alternity’ wear. And that’s how Butchbaby & Co. was born. Out of a dream and out of a necessity for all childbearing parents-to-be to have a more comfortable alternative to the current maternity wear we are provided.”
Regarding the company’s name, Newman told The Cut in an interview that older genderqueer women thought using the word butch would scare consumers away, but Vanessa believes millennials will embrace the word and define it more positively: “We had a number of queer women [say], ‘Butch wasn’t a good term growing up.’ Or transgender individuals were like, ‘Butch to me is a lesbian and I’m not a lesbian, I’m trans. I can’t really relate to the term. But at the end of the day, I will still buy your clothes.’ I think that millennials are embracing the term butch in many ways.”
Co-creator and Chief Design Officer, Michelle Janayea (pictured right) also said that it is important to bridge the gap between masculine and feminine attire. “Studying fashion, I told myself I wanted to bridge that gap and then when I got this overwhelming response when we launched our website, it showed me that me and Vanessa weren’t the only ones thinking about this.”
The sensibility behind the line is so new that even where it’s available has implications. For instance, Newman said, “If we sold clothing to someone like Target, you may feel comfort in the clothes but if you’re masculine or trans, you may feel uncomfortable going into Target. You may feel uncomfortable talking to that cis, straight, potentially judgmental salesperson…”
The idea, according to Janayea, is to create a “community” through their clothing line. To continue reading Vanessa and Michelle’s interview with The Cut, click here. And to stay updated on ButchBaby & Co.’s Fall launch, follow them on Facebook and Twitter.