Style » Fashion

Women's Wear: Hot Lesbian Designers, Part 1, Saint Harridan

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Friday Sep 26, 2014

For tomboys, butches and trans men, finding clothes that fit right and don't come with bows and frills is a real bitch. Women's clothes, with their tight cuts and cap sleeves, are out of the question. Men's clothes hit closer to the mark, but unless you're built like a linebacker, they hang oddly -- too long in the sleeves and not big enough in the butt.

If necessity is the mother of invention, then these sexy motherfuckers have come up with just the thing to keep us happy. The tailored fit of this clothing will have you looking good, and the fact that you're supporting the LGBT community will have you feeling good.

So whether you're looking for the perfect suit for that special day or clothes that make you look good every day, these talented designers really fit the bill.

Saint Harridan

It was 2008, during the small window of time when marriage was legal in California before Proposition 8, and Mary Going was about to marry her partner of 10 years. She had everything ready to go -- except the suit. Although she searched high and low in both the women's and men's departments, she couldn't find anything to wear.

"I found stuff I liked in the men's department, but it didn't fit," said Going. "So I had a custom suit made, which cost a lot of money. Then I decided to start a business that made suits on a pattern, that were more affordable."

Her first stop was Kickstarter, where Going posted her design prototypes and a video asking people if they would be interested in her line of clothing. She asked them to pre-purchase items, so she could get a sense of what the level of demand would be, and to fund the materials. Apparently, women were interested: Her campaign netted $137,000 in pre-ordered apparel.

"Our brand is very much about us, and people are attracted to it because it helps them see themselves as valid, and helps us as a community feel inspired to see ourselves as sexy and good-looking," said Going, who refers to herself officially as Chief Hustler for Queer Visibility. "It's hard in our society to put masculinity with women and not have that be a freakish thing. Saint Harridan is definitely not the only way this is happening, but we're contributing to people seeing themselves as beautiful, and that's why we use real people in our campaigns."

Going said that when she held a nationwide modeling contest, 1,100 people applied from across the spectrum of age, race and gender presentation. People love seeing their friends and family members as the models for fashion shows in their city.

"The whole business is built on the fact that the community wants this to happen," said Going. "People reach out and help us in each city we visit for our pop-up shops."

Saint Harridan recently held a Fashion Show and Pop-Up Shop featuring local models in Boston. In September, they hit Detroit and Portland, Oregon. November will find them in Chicago, and December will have them back in Los Angeles. The suits are perfect for weddings, or just for a day at the office.

"A number of people who are getting married are attracted to our suits, but we also have a lot of customers like lawyers and other professionals who wear suits on a regular basis," said Going.

Going has a strategy in mind to expand into a wider lifestyle brand for her customers, but says it will take time and money to come to fruition. They have three great factories in the United States, a good team and the determination to make this work.

In the meantime, pop by their Pop-Up Shop or visit them online at


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