Prizm News / August 1, 2018 / By Staley Munroe

They influence what we wear and how we feel in it. Five insiders share their thoughts about style and the business of fashion. By Ken Schneck From the models strutting down the runways of Columbus Fashion Week to the interns clustered around a watercooler in Dayton. From the fans in the front row of a Cleveland Cavs game to the patrons at Donkey Coffee in Athens. And from the Akronites on Instagram to the Cincinnatians on Snapchat to the Toledoans on Tumblr.

No matter where you look: Fashion.
Is. Everywhere. Despite the struggles of retailers that still depend on brick-and-mortar stores, the fashion industry continues to expand. Looks can be  shared on social media and easily purchased online, and analysts document market growth for apparel of at least 5 percent in 2017. Fashion is a $1.2 trillion global industry, with more than $250 billion of that spent annually on fashion in the United States. But put those numbers aside and take a minute to recognize and celebrate the crucial role fashion has always played in the LGBTQ community. Throughout our history, fashion has allowed us to challenge norms, be rebellious, express our identity, celebrate with pride and show the world a fraction of our innate fierceness.

Fashion is so much more than some clothes to throw on. For the LGBTQ community, fashion is one important weapon in our arsenal to loudly and clearly proclaim: This is how we see the world outside of the limits you keep failing to impose upon us.

Despite our image as the land of Browns and Bengals sweatshirts, Ohio does have a booming fashion scene. In addition to knowing where the Buckeyes rank in the weekly college football polls, any Columbus resident can also tell you that their city ranks third nationally in the number of local fashion designers. To paint a more complete picture, we spoke with five people who are channeling their energy into different parts of the fashion world. Our own Prizm Fashion Breakfast Club features the Educator, the Merchandiser, the Club Kid, the Stylist and the Designer.

They share passionate views, although those views come from their own unique vantage points. When you’re done reading, we dare you to not try to up your fashion game.