Vers :: Clothing for People

Resourcing Queer and Trans Fashion Artists to Cultivate Creative Spaces
Artistic Discipline: Multidisciplinary
Category: Creative Equations Fund: Social Innovation & Cultural EntrepreneurshipSocial Innovation Fellow
Grant Year: 2024
Location: Bushwick

Vers is an artist-run fashion boutique, studio and community hub for local, majority-queer, sustainable clothing creators and wearers to shop, create, perform, and organize community events. It's communally run by over 30 local small business owners. Most are working class, LGBTQIA+ artists, who make imaginative wearable goods by hand. We intervene for social good by fighting fashion’s inequitable labor, environmental and social practices. We’re providing personally-made clothing to our community and beyond, while addressing garment and textile waste through creative upcycling and community clothing & material swaps that center access for queer and trans communities of color. Our creative process is unique in that it fosters community, directly supporting local artists. Because Vers is queer-owned and operated, guests can explore gender identity and stylistic expression in a deeply supportive environment. Designers tending the shop curate the shopping experience to patrons who are interested in creative processes and origins of the materials, closing the alienating gap between who made your clothes and who’s wearing it. Typically, manufacturing happens in conditions globally where people are paid starvation wages to make cheap trendy clothes. Here, clothes are made by people who actively want to make them, with artistic vision, setting their own prices.