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Couture House Viktor&Rolf Partner With Global NGO GLAAD to Advance Gay Rights

The fashion and fragrance brand have inked a long-term partnership with the LGBTQ+ advocacy group…

By Adriana Ermter

To further LGBTQ+ rights, Dutch designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren’s eponymous fashion house has teamed up with GLAAD, the LGBTQ+ media advocacy group, to put freedom in the spotlight. This new and long-term partnership kicks off with a digital campaign titled, “Free to Love, Free to Be Me,” showcasing eight films created by LGBTQ+ influencers and activists. Each film shares a unique perspective on personal freedom and can be viewed on Viktor&Rolf’s tor Donte Colley, life coach and activist Barrett Pall, choreographer Ryan Heffington, writer Raquel Willis, model and influencer Baptiste Giabiconi and transgender advocate Geena Rocero.

“By sharing these stories, Viktor&Rolf aims to amplify LGBTQ+ voices, as well as encourage a positive dialogue around the LGBTQ+ experience and acceptance,” explains Guillaume de Lesquen, the president of Viktor&Rolf Designer Brands Fragrances Worldwide.

A dialogue that includes one of the brand’s core beliefs: that love is for everyone.

It’s not the first time the designers have focused on love. They’ve expressed the powerful statement as a commitment to the environment through their use of upcycled fabrics in their couture collections. They’ve used it as a means to lift people’s spirits post Covid-19, courtesy of their Spring/Summer 2021 Couture Rave collection video where models rocked, not walked, to pulsing beats. Now, the sentiment is being shared through a set of limited edition fragrances, Flowerbomb Mariage EDP and Spicebomb Infared EDT. While the former is a more feminine blend of musky, sweet flowers and the latter is a fruity-fresh masculine mix of tobacco and spice, both can be worn, cherished and loved by all.

“Love is for everyone,” affirms Horsting and Snoeren. “With our fragrance collection, we present a dream in which opposites intertwine and explode into a bouquet of sensations.”

Flowers aren’t the only thing these two enjoy not-so-spontaneously combusting. Reinventing social constructs is, after all, firmly in their wheelhouse.

Since their debut in 1993, the avant-garde luxury house has been as renowned for their conceptual glamour as they are for their unswerving focus on diversity and inclusion.

In 1998, the duo launched an independent runway show that challenged haute couture’s standards by sending models down the catwalk in oversized, mushroom-shaped (some filled with balloons) clothing during Paris Fashion Week. In 2006, the duo drew attention to gender stereotypes by pairing male models with other male models, along with partnering some male and female models, to dance down the runway. In 2019, the brand’s rainbow-coloured gowns boasted bold, hashtag-worthy phrases complete with “Give a Damn,” “I Want a Better World,” and “Freedom” scrawled across layers of tulle, satin and lace.

Now, with their renewed alignment of love and freedom firmly in place through the GLAAD partnership, Viktor&Rolf are striving to increase positive dialogue around the LGBTQ+ experience by sharing authentic stories to challenge stigma and stereotypes.

“While LGBTQ+ acceptance has advanced in recent years in some countries, we still have a long way to go,” explains de Lesquen. “We want to contribute to building a more inclusive society. We believe that amplifying LGBTQ+ voices is a key step in the journey to acceptance and equality everywhere.”

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As part of the initiative and in support of the LGBTQ+ community, the brand is donating a financial contribution to support GLAAD’s mission, along with gifting a special edition bracelet with each Spicebomb Infrared Eau de Toilette purchase while quantities last.

Viktor&Rolf Mariage EDP Limited Edition and Viktor&Rolf Spicebomb Infared EDT Limited Edition, both $143.00 for 50 ml, available at Shoppers Drug Mart.

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