Not only in Pride Month: fashion designer Dawid Tomaszewski has been committed to equality and self-determination for many years.
On June 1st, the annual Pride Month begins again worldwide. In remembrance of the Stonewall uprising of 1969, many demonstrations and events are taking place this month, which stand up for the rights of people of different sexual orientations and identities. The fashion designer Dawid Tomaszewski (41) has been committed to equality and self-determination for many years. In an interview, the Polish-German fashion designer talks about Pride Mode, his attitude towards Pride Month and the chance to encourage others.
Diversity and tolerance are celebrated during Pride Month. Then the rainbow colors shine on many channels and outfits. What does this symbol mean to you?
Dawid Tomaszewski: Many brands and fashion designers interpret the topic in their own way. This creates really great designs. However, the aim should be not to think in clichés. Rather, the LGBTQIA* scene is a source of inspiration. So it doesn’t always have to be a rainbow. It has a long history and important meaning for the community. But I wouldn’t just reduce the fashionable form of expression to that.
You designed a hoodie for QVC especially for Pride Month. But then you can’t do without colors entirely, right?
Tomaszewski: The “Love is Love” hoodie has a clear message and, of course, with its color accents, it stands for diversity and tolerance. But it can also be worn all year round – without a direct connection to Pride Month. And that’s how it should be with self-determined love. It must be a natural part of our society and not just an issue once a year. Our community should not be perceived as colorful birds of paradise, but as people like you and me. And yet, of course, I support all actions that contribute to bringing the topic into the center of our society. With the sale of my limited edition hoodie, QVC supports Queeramnesty and donates 50 percent of the proceeds.
What does Pride Month mean to you?
Tomaszewski: It is a reason for a statement that you live as a normal person in this country and have the same rights – even if we are sometimes still treated differently. We can get married and have children. That’s why I’m flying the flag, even if you can still tell that there are prejudices – especially in my home country of Poland. It’s very bad for the community under the new government. I find it all the more important that companies use their reach to set an example and educate.
How were the reactions to your coming out?
Tomaszewski: I was lucky enough to grow up in a very loving and open-minded family. My mom knew it anyway and loves me the way I am. Outside of this security, I also had to experience a lot of discrimination. That’s why I’m constantly committed to the issue of equality. I support the AIDS organization. And I help people who experience exclusion from their families as a result of their coming out by offering myself as a conversation partner. My own experiences help me with that. It only got easier for me and my coming out when I went to London. In Poland 25 years ago it was hardly conceivable to live out one’s sexuality openly – unfortunately it is still difficult today.
How do you use your notoriety to make a difference in the community?
Tomaszewski: I’ve been successful in the industry for 20 years. But before my time at QVC, my face was hardly known. Everyone knew the name Dawid Tomaszewski, but not so much me. It’s different now because of the proximity to the customers. Here I am noticed directly and I am very happy about the positive feedback. I’m open about my homosexuality. But it shouldn’t always be an issue. Nevertheless, I am proud that I can encourage others and show them that they are good the way they are.