50 Years of Pride in the UK

Happy Pride Everyone! Je m’appelle Jamie, and I’m the wordsmith behind Affari’s copywriting in recent months! I had the pleasure of attending London Pride this year, honouring 50 years since the first official Gay Pride Rally in 1972.

Recent events seem to have reignited a sense of clarity and commitment for our communities. LGBTQ+ people and allies took to the streets of Central London on Saturday 2nd July this year, with signs decrying homophobic and transphobic policies and attitudes a-plenty.

The organisers of London Pride reported over 1 million people taking part in the parade, making it the largest Pride Parade in the UK ever! The atmosphere was jubilant, and filled with proud celebration of the colour, spirit, and creativity of LGBTQ+ people across our nation, throughout our history, and all over the world.

AR Filters for Fashion

I recently caught up with a local entrepreneur, Denholm Munn, who has turned their passion for graphic, motion, and fashion design into their very own brand of LGBTQ+ pride and celebration. As with many others working in fashion of late, part of Denholm’s message deafeningly declares clothing is not and should not be restricted in terms of the traditional gender binary.

Denholm is both delivering unique luxury fashion creations, and curating a bold and striking LGBTQ+ brand. Radiating queer positivity and uplifting those among us who do not fit into the prescribed, limited boxes of socially constructed gender roles and ideals. Denholm’s message is clear – wear the clothes you want, wear them with pride, and do it in style!

You’ve never had to look too far to find innovation in our historic city. Denholm’s work is a continuation of this noble Nottingham pastime. From John and Jesse Boot to Paul Smith, Raleigh Bikes to the Lace Industry, Nottingham is renowned for creative and technological inventors and innovators.

As we well know here at Affari, the future of marketing is immersive. Denholm’s obviously on the same page, as earlier this year they revealed an interactive augmented reality (AR) filter on Instagram. This allows users to test out Denholm’s neckerchief product, seeing how the various colour combinations could work with their outfits. Personally, I love the Trans Pride piece and the Parma Violet Neckerchief!

Many of Denholm’s creations carry a political message, and with this AR filter (aside from the obvious marketing and business benefits) another message is being communicated – a high level of respect for and attentiveness to customers, providing them with the opportunity to sample before investing.

JS: What inspired you to create an AR filter for your Neckerchief?

DM: I thought it was a brilliant idea to allow my customers to try before they buy! Plus it really helps my business when people are using the filter aesthetically!

JS: Do you think immersive technologies will continue to augment our experiences of fashion going forward?

DM: Yeah definitely, with the development of the Metaverse and the pressure to be more sustainable, it’s a way we can consume without waste. And if you can try before you buy, you’re less likely to spend impulsively, which further reduces waste.

JS: What kind of response have you had to your AR filter so far?

DM: The response has been pretty great! Especially with the interactivity of the filter! People have enjoyed matching my different neckerchief designs with their outfits.

JS: What’s next for you and your business?

DM: My next step is to produce my pieces in different materials! I’m thinking faux leather next to step up the quality, along with ceramic for the end pieces until I’ve set up a forge for metal work!

Pride, Creativity & Innovation in Nottingham

I myself am privileged to have grown up in a time where wiser people have already blazed a trail. Not only am I proud in terms of my identity, I am filled with pride by the richness of relationships I’ve developed with people within the community, formed around a sense of solidarity from the lack of acceptance elsewhere. More recently I’ve also developed a sense of pride in my hometown of Nottingham.

Admittedly, this hasn’t always been the case. It’s difficult to have pride in a place where you were consistently and fervently rejected, humiliated, and harassed in your teens. Nottingham is not the same city I left, and the LGBTQ+ scene has evolved dramatically! It was bound to be dramatic, though, wasn’t it?

I went to Brighton 5 years ago to study for my degree, and upon coming back to live here full time it wasn’t long before I noticed a change in the air. I’ve even seen LGBTQ+ couples holding hands walking down the streets of my (formerly) quite segregated, white working-class, Thatcher-bashing, ex-mining council estate! They still understandably scorn Margaret Thatcher, of course!

The Nottingham Project has begun revitalising the city, employing LGBTQ+ artists among their ranks. The various LGBTQ+ clubs and spaces that closed before or while I was at university have been replaced with new, even more inclusive events – such as Gladrags, which takes place monthly at Rough Trade and Popworld.

There seems to be far more space afforded and tailored to LGBTQ+ people, with queer arts and writers collectives, and generally a renaissance of Nottingham’s creative scenes. In all fairness, we still have a long road ahead of us, but this is nevertheless something the city should be incredibly proud of.

Affari Media is a creative agency working in the B2B sector to deliver dynamic and engaging marketing campaigns. We proudly stand by the LGBTQ+ community of Nottingham, and are thrilled with the thriving LGBTQ+ scene in our fabulous city!

“Many around me will know I’m a dedicated supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. As the Managing Director of Affari Media, and a parent, it’s incredibly reassuring that Nottingham is standing proud. I’ll be there on Saturday as always!” – Ben Hankin