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Why it’s great that Burberry is supporting the LGBTQ+ community

Taking his final bow for Burberry at London Fashion Week 2018, Christopher Bailey, the creative director, dedicated the show to the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and other groups) community. The collection was introduced at the Spring/Sumer 2018-19 show on February 17th in London and showed his creations which featured the classic Burberry check pattern in rainbow colours, a symbol of the LGBTQ+ community. Bailey said of the collection:

‘My final collection here at Burberry is dedicated to – and in support of – some of the best and brightest organisations supporting LGBTQ+ youth around the world. There has never been a more important time to say that in our diversity lies our strength, and our creativity’.

The fashion house also announced that they would be donating an unknown sum to three charities; The Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT), ILGA and The Trevor Project. All three charities aim to raise awareness of the issues faced by people in the LGBTQ+ community, such as discrimination.

As well as ending on a high note, Bailey’s swan song a fashion project raising awareness of the LGBTQ+ community, this statement has had a great impact. Coming from such an established and well-known brand as Burberry, and during such a prestigious event as London Fashion Week, this statement will reach a much larger audience. It comes at a time when the LGBTQ+ community, specifically transgender people, are at the centre of a political and social debate.

With his election to president of the United States, Donald Trump attempted to ban transgender people from the military, citing ‘the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail’. Although this has now been quashed by a judge, the decision by the president left many transgender people, as well as other members of the LGBTQ+ community, who he has upset with comments he made during his campaign, feeling attacked and isolated. This move by Burberry is a way to make the LGBTQ+ community feel welcomed and celebrated, money donated to the charities will help support activities as they advocate at the United Nations for repeals of discriminatory laws.

This follows more actions to promote the LGBTQ+ community in society, including Smirnoff’s campaign encouraging Britain’s nightlife to become more open-minded about gender and collaborating with the LGBT Foundation. The charity Stonewall has also launched a new campaign encouraging people to ‘Come Out for LGBT’. This follows their success from ‘Some people are gay. Get over it’. Hopefully, this effort will encourage more companies to make a similar stand and start a discussion with groups like LGBTQ+ on how to make them feel more included and appreciated within our society. 

Postgraduate at Newcastle University, studying International Multimedia Journalism. Feminist and passionate about women’s issues, and loves writing for a publication such as HerCampus, aimed at women and keen to give them a voice.
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