June is only weeks away, which means corporate windows across the country will soon be rainbow-washed with the vibrant colors of Pride month. But, as we know, creating quality Pride merch isn’t simply slapping a technicolor flag on a $10 T-shirt and calling it a day. Queer talent must be employed behind the scenes (not just within the promotional content), funds must be donated to LGBTQ+ charities, and brands toting inclusion and acceptance must practice this within their company culture year-round.
Thankfully, Target’s latest collaborations hit the mark. The superstore, known for their quick-to-sell fashion collabs, has released two new collaborations ahead of Pride month, launching accessible, gender-affirming products for everybody and every body. What makes these collaborations different from every other rainbow-splattered product at your local dollar store? Target partnered with TomboyX and Humankind — two queer-owned, female-founded brands — to create these much-needed lines.
The TomboyX collab features undergarments like compression tops — a comfortable alternative to chest binders — as well as packing underwear, bras, and boyshorts in size S-4X. Humankind’s line, on the other hand, includes various swimsuit styles such as swim trunks, tops, and unisuits. As binders and gender-affirming swimsuits are notoriously difficult to find (particularly in extended sizes), this accessible drop will make shopping for everyday garments much easier.
Mila Myles, a Black, queer nonbinary writer and stand-up comedian who modeled in the TomboyX collaboration photos with partner Yasmin Almo, chatted with Bustle about what shooting this campaign was like behind the scenes. According to Mila, the reality was just as lovely as it looked on camera.
“It was the first time that I was welcomed and empowered to make other people feel empowered,” Mila said. And on set, “no one was a prop. We were all [there for] an opportunity to feel seen and for someone else to feel seen,” in turn. Mila hopes this collab will “redefine ‘commercial beauty,’ by hiring different-looking ‘commercial models.’”
Target reps have confirmed that this collection marks the first time the retailer has stocked compression tops in stores — a huge move for queer youth who don’t have access to gender-affirming products. The moment was not lost on customers, who have been flooding Twitter with celebratory posts.
In addition to these two Target-exclusive lines, the big-box retailer has already launched their annual Pride collection with products designed by creators like Jermel “Blu” Moody, founder of Black Boy Be, Olly Gibbs of Curlworks, and the Phluid Project. The entire pride collection is available at Target, with additional TomboyX and Humankind pieces dropping throughout May and early June.
Everything from the collections will be available to purchase online, with some products available in stores (including the chest binders, which have never been offered at Target before). You can cop some of TomboyX’s pieces now and start shopping Humankind on May 25.
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