Individual stories; universal experiences.
Sometimes the former coalesces into the latter for people who live their lives, or part of their lives, within various communities and subcultures. As Pride Month continues toward the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, a great deal of celebratory fervor has focused on the phenomenal strides made by the LGBTQ community, its denizens for so long shunned from essential elements of mainstream culture. As recently as the 2008 presidential primaries, both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton claimed to be against same-sex marriage. (They made public reversals in 2012 and 2013, respectively.) Today, same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states, after the landmark 2015 Supreme Court ruling. The rapid-fire changes, Stan Herman says, “are seismic.”
Stan is one of a quartet of designers who gathered last week for a cross-generational roundtable on Pride and LGBTQ issues. Now in his “90th year,” and six — or is it seven? — decades into his career, Stan is as engaged as ever as a designer. He’s a walking, talking, tennis-playing history of the modern American fashion industry, including its longtime safe-haven allure for gay male creatives and the devastation wrought by the AIDS crisis beginning in the early eighties.
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