Fitting allies: Timeline on fashion industry’s support for gay rights


Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita’s Tie the Knot bow ties are not the first product to emerge from the intersection of fashion and the marriage movement. Here’s a brief timeline of other recent occasions when the fashion industry showed its support for gay rights:

May 2009

Mannequins at Levi Strauss stores in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco sport White Knots, a symbol of support for same-sex marriage.

April 2011

Marc Jacobs releases a limited-edition T-shirt to support the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights advocacy group. The unisex shirt features an image of a lesbian couple and their child with the text “I pay my taxes, I want my RIGHTS!”


May 2011

The Marc Jacobs flagship store in Manhattan unveils a window scene featuring two brides about to be married and words from Jacobs supporting marriage equality in New York.

J. Crew’s May catalog features a picture of two men in J. Crew apparel with the text “Happy Together. Our designer Somsack and his boyfriend, Micah.”

Vogue Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour films a video for the HRC in support of the New Yorkers For Marriage Equality campaign. In the video, Wintour says, “As far as I’m concerned, having the right to say ‘I do’ is as fundamental as the right to vote.”

August 2011

A billboard for Kenneth Cole goes up on New York’s West Side Highway reading: “Gay people getting married? (Next they’ll be allowed to vote and pay taxes.)”

November 2011

The Calvin Klein Collection store in New York plays host to the launch party for the HRC’s Americans for Marriage Equality campaign.

February 2012

HRC Americans for Marriage Equality buttons are distributed at New York Fashion Week events, including in gift bags at the Charlotte Ronson and Costello Tagliapietra runway shows. The Costello Tagliapietra runway show features the first work from designers Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra since their wedding in October 2011.


May 2012

Target begins selling limited-edition gay-pride-themed T-shirts through its online store. All proceeds from the shirts are donated to the Family Equality Council, an organization that represents LGBT families.

A page of the J.C. Penney Mother’s Day catalog features a lesbian couple with their daughters. The company’s Father’s Day catalog in June also featured a gay couple with their children.

July 2012

Target stores begin carrying same-sex-marriage-themed greeting cards bearing messages including “Mr. and Mr.” and “Women. Love.” This month, Target also runs an ad for its wedding registry service, featuring two grooms.

Perfume maker Bond No. 9. releases I Love New York for Marriage Equality, a unisex fragrance in support of the pro-same-sex-marriage I Love New York organization. The perfume features a scent inspired by wedding bouquets.

October 2012

Fashion designer and “Project Runway” star Tim Gunn hosts the HRC Chefs for Equality fundraiser in Washington, D.C. Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is the event’s featured guest.

November 2012

Washington state’s Referendum 74 passes, legalizing same-sex marriage in Washington. The ballot measure was publicly supported by Nike, Nordstrom, and several other Washington-based companies.

--Michael Darling