We Love Wednesday: Beefcake Swimwear

Beefcake Swimwear: The One-Piece Androgynous Swimsuit

We know a thing or two about trying to fill a much needed void in the apparel industry -- specifically when it comes to swimwear and people who fall outside of the binary. A year and a half ago we launched our kickstarter campaign for our Bareskin Binders and successfully funded the very first range of nude binders (that were also specifically designed for swimming). While our Bareskin binders fill a niche for masculine of center people seeking an option to hide/disguise their chests -- they aren't perfect for everyone and that leaves room for people to create other options in the swimwear market. 

http://www.flavnt.com/bareskin-swim-top/

http://www.flavnt.com/bareskin-swim-top/

We recently came across the kickstarter campaign for Beefcake Swimwear and were super pumped that we did. Check it out for yourself below: 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1847342690/beefcake-swimwear-androgynous-1920s-swimsuits?ref=creator_nav

In their own words - "Beefcakes are confident, strong, stylish folks who want swimwear that combines fashion and function. We believe Beefcakes can be any gender, so why should their swimwear be binary? And we believe that swimsuits for Beefcakes should be high quality, affordable, available in a wide range of sizes, and manufactured in the USA." 

Image Credit: Beefcake Swimwear

Image Credit: Beefcake Swimwear

Beefcake Swimwear is bringing back the unisex one piece swimsuit of old to provide a gender neutral option that is both functional and allows the wearer to feel comfortable and confident. We could not be more excited about this idea and cannot wait to see where they take it. They have 60 hours left in their campaign but they have more than exceeded their initial goal of $10,500 (WHICH IS AMAZING!!!) and met 2 separate stretch goals meaning that they will have expanded sizing and color options in their initial launch of their suits. If you want to get in on these Beefcake suits before the rush, head over to their kickstarter and make a pledge. If not, make sure that you support queer people making queer projects by spreading the word and following their social medias/the project after the kickstarter ends. We LOVE that there is about to be another option out there for people who don't necessarily feel like they have anything to rock in the summer time.

Keep up with Beefcake Swimwear at beefcakeswimwear.com


Below is a review from a friend here in Austin who has already gotten to test out her Beefcake suit:

🏄🏼  I absolutely LOVE my new Beefcake Swimwear suit and the way it makes me feel!
🏄🏼   It fits perfectly so I would say that it's "true to size" with the measurements that were provided. 
🏄🏼   For the first time in my life, I feel ready to conquer the summer without insecurities and I don't have to sacrifice looking good for feeling good and vice versa. 
🏄🏼   Thank you so much to Mel Wells (owner/creator/designer of Beefcake Swimwear) for creating this product that will more than likely change a lot of people's lives. 

Image Credit: Michelle Solorzano Daly

Image Credit: Michelle Solorzano Daly

Keep dreaming and keep creating, people, because these badass projects are what happens when you do.

Music Monday: Week 11

We're gonna do something a little different this week... we wanted to share with you a new music video we are IN LOVE WITH. 

The song is Wasted Youth by FLETCHER, and the music video has one of our all time favorite lady gays in it, Shannon, aka "nowthisisliving" on tumblr/insta/youtube, etc. 

Now, we'll be real with you, we love anything with queer representation, but this is also just a fantastically shot/edited/produced video, and the song is rad as hell-- we have been jamming to the EP it's on for a while now in our office. 

You can only watch the video exclusively on W Magazine via this link. (Also read the article and share it, give FLETCHER some love on instagram and twitter, and check out her music on spotify, which we are linking below! Also also follow Shannon if you don't already because she's not only swoon-worthy, but super active online and we are forever dreaming of doing a photoshoot with her one day *sighs hopefully*).

Sharing FLETCHER with y'all seems more than appropriate during Women's history month, because we have to actively support our amazing female artists and lift them up! Go have a listen, you won't regret it. And watch the video, your little gay hearts won't be able to take the cuteness! 

PS- FLETCHER is playing a show in Brooklyn tomorrow night 3/7/17 if anyone in the NYC area wants to see her live! 

We Love Wednesday: #IPeeWithLGBT

Most of you probably know Chris as half of FLAVNT Streetwear, but last month he got to step out of his comfort zone (no really, he's totally shy), and act on camera in a really important PSA opposing a recently proposed anti-trans bill here in Texas.

That bill is SB6, similar to the HB2 bill passed last year in North Carolina, that would restrict trans people from using the bathroom they identify with. 

Oscar-nominated director Richard Linklater directed the spot, teamed up with ACLU Texas, GSD&M Austin, The Bear, and a dozen or so talented actors -- stating what we think is pretty obvious, everyone has to pee, so take a seat to make a stand for for those in the LGBT community discriminated against by this potential new law. 

Lavene Cox recently spoke out about the real implications of these so-called "bathroom bills", and we think she said it best:

And what people should know about these bathroom bills that criminalize trans people... is that these bills are not about bathrooms. They’re about whether trans people have the right to exist in public space. If we can’t access public bathrooms, we can’t go to school, we can’t work, we can’t go to health care facilities. This is about public accommodations. And so, public accommodations are always key to civil rights...
— Laverne Cox

These bills are presented as attempts at protecting the privacy of people (especially children) from peeping toms, rapists, and sexual deviants; while calling into question the genitalia of transgender folks who just want to pee in peace. Even if trans people make up less than 1% of the population, that does not mean that their privacy matters any less than the next person's, and shining the spotlight on something so intimate is appalling and detracts from actual issues -- like how most acts of sexual assault (8/10) are committed by someone the victim knows, and how trans people are much more likely than their cisgender counterparts to experience violence in places like public restrooms. According to a study by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Center for Transgender Equality, 64% of trans people will experience sexual assault in their lifetime. 

Watch the video below and give it a thumbs up (probably avoid the comments section because it's full of nasty bigoted slurs and there's no winning there) and share it with your friends and family! Do what you can to be the best ally to those that need it in situations like this and help #stopSB6. 

You can visit https://www.ipeewithlgbt.org/ and see what you can do to help, if you're a Texas resident interested in taking a stand they have a really easy system in place on this site for contacting your local representative and asking them to oppose SB6.

Trending Tuesday: The Importance of Satire in the Trump Era

It's been a while since we've written a Trending Tuesday and we can only attribute that to being in a sort of funk since the election in November. For the past three months, the hottest topic in our country (and a good portion of the world) has been President Trump. We were hoping that the President would surprise us, fly under the radar, take himself out of the headlines, do a little good, and we could all go about living our blissfully ignorant lives for the next four years. Unfortunately, that hasn't the case and now is the time to speak out about it. 

Since the President was sworn in, there have been more protests than days of his presidency. The Women's March on Washington drew larger crowds than the inauguration and the numbers across the U.S. made it the largest protest in our nation's history. That fact alone speaks volumes. Protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline have started up again as Trump signed executive orders allowing the pipeline projects in the Dakotas to move forward. A Day Without Immigrants saw immigrant workers and allies strike to show just how important immigrants are to our economy. #NotMyPresidentsDay trended on Twitter yesterday as people voiced their displeausure with the current state of the union. But the fight doesn't stop after the protests and hashtags, day in and day out we have to fight for our rights and for our voices not to be silenced. Going out and peacefully protesting is possibly the most straight-forward and effective way to share our voices (aside from calling our representatives and letting them know that we oppose nominees and bills), but there are other ways that we can make a difference. Each and every one of us has the power to change the landscape of the America we have found ourselves in -- for anyone who has said "I wonder what I would've done during WWII when the Nazis were committing genocide" or "I wonder how I could've made a difference in the Civil Rights movement", this is our time. Now is the time to make sure that our words and beliefs aren't empty and the answers and methods we can use are often simple.

One of the most talked about headlines in regards to Trump in the past couple of months has been Saturday Night Live and their satirical portrayal of the Trump administration. Since Alec Baldwin started doing his impression of Trump, there have been countless reports of the displeasure that the White House has received these sketches with. Not to mention that SNL's wide audience is getting a taste of the political climate whether they are political or not. Oblivious or apathetic Americans who tune in to NBC on Saturday nights may not think that politics are important or that the state of our nation affects them, but seeing these sketches (as satirical as they may be) gives these people the chance to get informed where they might otherwise not. "In a time when polls show many Americans distrust the mainstream media, it may just take SNL and comedians to be the voices of reason. Here's hoping that week after week SNL helps make America laugh again at Trump -- and his administration." (-Dean Obeidallah, CNN)

Another key aspect of the SNL sketches is that female actors have played the roles of two key Whitehouse cabinet members (Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer and Kate McKinnon as Jeff Sessions) something that is not likely to escape the misogynistic eye of President Trump. “'Trump doesn’t like his people to look weak.'” This speaks volumes about Trump’s concept of weakness and strength — particularly since the cross-gender casting isn’t what made the “Sean Spicer Press Conference” go viral. It was because the sketch was incredibly funny, thanks to McCarthy’s comedic mastery." (Elahe Izadi, Washington Post)  

Women are finding themselves at the forefront of this revolution (a position we aren't unaccustomed to throughout history) and whether that be by marching the streets in pink knitted hats or by putting on a bald cap and playing a prominent man on TV, we are more than capable of dealing some deadly blows to this administration and to the racially oppressive, bigoted, patriarchy that the United States has allowed itself to continue to be. It's 2017 and we're still fighting the same fights our parents and grandparents fought for -- we do not live in a post-racial, love-is-equal, gender-inclusive, immigrant-friendly society and if you think we do, you need to open your eyes.

Keep up the good fight, keep calling your representatives, keep holding your signs in the street, keep those fists held high, keep sharing those Facebook posts, keep discrediting fake news, keep educating yourself, keep supporting the arts, keep protecting those who need protected, and keep using humor to fight hatred. Because your voices and your laughter are being heard and their sounds are echoing within the walls of the Oval Office.

Music Monday: Week 10

This week our Music Monday playlist has a "love" theme...both good and bad. We figured that was a good idea since tomorrow is Valentine's day! Enjoy and make sure you keep up with all of our FLAVNT blog posts (we're getting back into being consistent with all of our blog days)

1. Fake Love - Drake
2. Shape of You - Ed Sheeran
3. Body Like a Back Road - Sam Hunt
4. Same Way - Aaron Carter
5. Beautiful Problem - MOD SUN, gnash, Maty Noyes
6. I Got You - Bebe Rexha
7. Personal - Kehlani
8. Phase Me Out - Verite
9. Stranglehold - Kevin Garrett
10. Closer - Dylan Scott
11. Goodbye - Who is Fancy
12. Rock Bottom - Hailee Steinfeld, DNCE

FLAVNT FRIDAY: Part 1 of #SupportSpencer

In the first 2 weeks of our #SupportSpencer campaign, y'all have helped us raise $364! That means that we are on pace to raise at least $2,000 for Spencer's top surgery in May. We know that everyone is filing their taxes and hopefully getting some generous tax returns in a month or so, so think about using some of that to pump up your wardrobe while also giving back to the community!

If you didn't get a chance to check out our #SupportSpencer intro video, you should go learn a little about them and where you can find them online: https://youtu.be/PfkIpEtg6ho

And don't forget that we are doing pre-orders for our baseball jerseys! (Like the one that Spencer is wearing in the graphic above) During the pre-order we have the jerseys available in several different colors, but once the pre-order ends we will only be stocking the most popular color. Take advantage of your options while they last because pre-orders end on the 15th. LOOK AT ALL THOSE OPTIONS FOR ALL YOU GAL PALS AND BINARY BREAKERS!

These jerseys are great for warmer weather because they're lightweight and fun -- not to mention that they are perfect for post-surgery wear since they button up!

We've got a lot more fun stuff coming to y'all in the future and we're working on a restock of the Bareskin Binders, so be on the lookout for updates. If you haven't already subscribed to our newsletter, make sure that you do to stay in the loop and don't forget to tell your friends about our #SupportSpencer campaign and get as many people involved in possible.

Much love and happy FLAVNT Friday,
FLAVNT Streetwear

FLAVNT Friday: The End of Our 6th Partnership & The Beginning of Our 7th

As many of y'all know, we have concluded our #SupportChris partnership as of the end of 2016. Chris underwent top surgery on January 4th, 2017 with Dr. Raphael in Plano, TX, and has been recovering wonderfully since then. He documented the entire process on his youtube if you have any questions about the ins/outs of getting top surgery or if you are just interested in feeling involved in his journey -- his youtube channel can be found HERE. We also went ahead and included the 3 videos he made surrounding his top surgery/reveal in this blog post for the convenience of our blog subscribers.

Our #SupportChris campaign lasted a little under 4 months and (through your donations/purchases) we were able to raise $2,744 for his fundraiser. That means that in the past 2 years, we have raised over $11,000 between our first 6 partners!

Following our campaign with Chris, we are super excited to announce that we are partnering up with Spencer! Spencer has been one of our longest standing reps at FLAVNT (going on 2 years now) and they've applied to be our fundraising partner 3 times now. Health issues got in the way up until now, but the stars have finally aligned and allowed us to partner with Spencer and begin our #SupportSpencer campaign.

Spencer is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns, they are active on instagram/tumblr/snapchat under the username @justjewit32 and can be found on youtube on their personal channel "Spencer Adams" and on FTMtranstastic. Spencer is aiming to get top surgery from Dr. Raphael in May of 2017.

As always, just make a purchase at flavnt.com for 15% of your purchase to go towards Spencer's top surgery fundraiser. We know we are low on some stock but we are rapidly restocking and even have some new products available/coming your way in the near future (so make sure to be subscribed to our newsletter to be kept up to date on those drops!). Thank you to everyone who has supported our first 6 fundraisers, we can't wait to make our 7th fundraiser the most successful one yet!

Style Saturday: Guest Post with Yoomi

Denim 101

Disclaimer: This guide is according to what I’ve personally experienced, seen, and read. My style will undoubtedly come through but I hope you take this as merely suggestions and an educational tool to help you or your loved ones find a better fit when it comes to buying and wearing jeans. Whether you’re masculine-of-center or just love wearing “men’s” jeans, I hope this is informational and helpful. P.S. I’ve worked at American Eagle for six years and completely love my denim collection but you definitely do not have to check them out by any means. 

It’s finally fall, well, maybe in some parts of the country, which means it’s time to put some pants on! Shopping for jeans is a source of anxiety or contention for many people all over the world. With so many different body types and the restraints of mass-producing products, it is more than common that finding the perfect fit is difficult for a lot of people. Today I’m going to be talking about key components of finding your next favorite pair of jeans. These include cut/fit, size, and fabrication. Sometimes the brand of the jeans can also be important in finding your best fit. At the end, I’ll try to give you some quick tips in how to style your outfit around your jeans and look your best.

The Fit, Sizing, Fabrication, and Brands

It’s pretty common knowledge that the most popular style of denim right now is still the skinny jean. (Heads up, we can use the word style interchangeably with fit or cut.) Brands usually have the same kind of cuts, even while maybe having different names for them. What you’ll really want to pay attention to are keywords like leg opening, taper, fabrication, inseam, and waist size. Some common cut names are Skinny, Super Skinny (or variations of such), Taper(ed), Slim, Straight, Boot Cut, Relaxed, etc.

Men’s denim is usually listed as Waist size X Inseam. For example, 28x30 or 32x32 are sizes that would be denoted on the jeans in store and online. Now, just like other items of clothing, sizing can vary from brand to brand. The thinner your frame, the easier it might be to find great fitting jeans. However, I have had a lot of taller/lankier customers that have just as much trouble finding jeans that fit as shorter or broader, huskier customers. Taller people usually have a little more luck in finding longer inseam options through brands’ online inventory. AEO sells jeans up to a 36-inch inseam and even up to a 44-inch waist. (I’m pretty sure those jeans come up to my chest FYI). Shorter folks like me who need a 28-inch inseam in combination with a larger waist size are kind of out of luck unless you’re willing to order custom made jeans from brands like Levi’s or have a great relationship with their local tailor. Great news is, cuffing and rolling up your jeans are still fashionable. You can also do pinroll cuffs or cut them yourself, if you’re handy like that. If you have the budget, a tailor can be a great friend to have as well, but it does tend to get expensive if you end up buying a lot of different washes. To be honest, I like the bunched up look on myself depending the denim. However, if you are shorter and wear a larger waist size, it can end up bunching too much and make even your slim jeans fit wider and baggier than they are so stay attentive to those details.

 

Over the past few years, companies have begun incorporating some women’s denim technology into the fabrication of men’s denim. There are new levels of flexibility in keeping jeans from sagging like the traditional denim of past decades. This can help you even size down in some jeans or try a slimmer cut because the fabrication’s stretch will be able to compensate for the usual tightness. Beware, depending on how tight you’re going, you could end up accentuating your hips, butt, thighs, and/or calves. If any of that is of concern, taking pictures in the fitting room will be helpful to make those determinations. If you’re open to it, also consider taking a friend you trust to give you helpful feedback in appropriate and truthful ways. Selvedge denim is still one of the coolest fabrications you could get in your denim. Warning, they’re also some of the most expensive fabrications of denim as well. The reason for this is in how they are made. Selvedge jeans are made from higher quality, denser denim rolls and are denoted by how they are stitched together. You can find if they’re selvedge in its flat color and on the outside edge if you cuff the jeans’ openings. It’s really interesting stuff if you’re down to Googling it. Selvedge denim is known for its stiffness and will normally fit tighter in your regular size so definitely be sure to try them on before purchasing them.

When trying to figure out what brands to buy, start with the popular places such as American Eagle, Hollister, Abercrombie, Zara, Forever 21 Men, H&M, Aeropostale (they filed for bankruptcy and closing a few stores so check out clearance sales), and PacSun (also filed for bankruptcy and now is run by a privately funded company). J.Crew, Gap, and Banana Republic are little more expensive and for a little bit of an older crowd, but still have great jeans. Any of your traditional department stores will also have a great selection of Levi’s if that’s a brand you’re interested in trying out as well. All these brands are going to fit differently so be prepared to have jeans in different sizes if you’re planning on buying jeans from a few of them. Streetwear brands like Supreme, Fear of God, Naked & Famous, etc. that are labeled as true to size could end up being tighter or looser depending on your body type so be careful when ordering online (always look up their return policies and fees).

Trying On and Buying

Wherever you go, ask for a sales associate that knows their denim best. If a store has a section that looks like it’s all denim, the sales associate in that room is most likely the well-versed “expert.” Usually the fitting room associates will also know what they’re talking about as well. Go up to them after having a quick look and be open with them. Let them know, yes, you are aware these are guy jeans (if you’re female-presenting), Yes, you know how you’d like them to fit or look. Tell them how you would like them to fit at the ankle, over your shoes, the fit on your thighs, and your waist. Since the names are always varied, the associates should be able to recommend the right fits according to those specifications. Let them know if you want a specific wash as well: dark, light, medium, black, gray, destroyed, distressed, bleached, flat, whiskered, etc. The more specific you are, the faster things will go in the store and fitting room.

Trying on can be an anxious process, sometimes disappointing, and potentially triggering. When planning a shopping trip, try to plan an outfit that will make things easier on you. If you have a specific style of shoes you wear most often or plan to wear with the jeans you are looking to buy, wear them to the store. Avoid layers, and wear tops that you would most likely pair with them as well. I wear Vans and Nike Frees most often so I wear Vans to most fit sessions. My boots also have a low profile against my ankle so most skinny jeans go over them. Slip-on Vans are the quickest and easiest shoe to wear without completely giving up on looking decent at the store. Wear clean socks and maybe deodorize your shoes if you’re self-conscious. It gets hot in those fitting rooms sometimes so put on some deodorant or cologne too. As you try on, hand-off anything that you just really hate. This helps de-clutter the room and gives you a chance to give feedback to the fitting room employee who in turn can help you find a better fit. If you like it, snap a picture in it so you don’t have to retry anything if you find yourself having to pick a between a few.

When making a decision, get what you felt the absolute most comfortable in. Sit on the floor, cross-legged, knees up, do a squat, do a lunge, sit on the chair if there is one. Can you breathe? Is everything feeling good? You like the look? Great, you’ve luckily found a great pair. I tell my customers all the time that if you’re even the least bit uncomfortable, it won’t be worth it because they’ll probably end up sitting in the corner with the tags still attached. Don’t waste your money. You’ll find the right pair, I swear, it’ll just take a little time and effort. Also, if you’re the type that just can’t always find your perfect pair, and you do find some you love, if the budget allows, get an extra pair. The worst moment is when you find out they don’t sell your favorite pairs of jeans after wearing them to oblivion. Luckily a lot of stores are still having sales on their denim, including AEO’s Buy One, Get One 50% off sale. (P.S. Some brands do sell similar washes and cuts every year, so don't fret, your favorite jeans could reappear on the sales floor in a year's time.)

Styling Your Jeans

Skinny jeans have been the prevailing popular style currently. If you like a little more room in the calves or thigh, go for a slim or slim straight. Anything wider is good for bigger thighs or bigger boots. GQ and various style journalists have been making the case that relaxed jeans are making a comeback. If you’re into that trend, just make sure you’re styling it correctly by rolling/cuffing/cropping them and pairing them with an athletic shoe or you’ll end up looking lost. Distressed denim is huge and so is the acid wash and zipper jean look (Thanks Hyper Denim, Fear of God, and Justin Bieber). Rip & repair is trendy too and that is where they’ll make a hole in the jean/fray it and then patch it underneath.

Pair any of these with long tees and distressed tees if you’d like. My basic advice is to pair light denim with darker colored tops and light tees with darker jeans. Layers are always a good way to stay warm and stay on trend. Try not to combine patterns that clash though. I like to stick to one pattern, and one solid, which keeps things looking nice without getting too busy. When in doubt, keep it simple with loose tees or if you’re trying to look more “built,” add an undershirt to help add padding/definition and/or cuff your sleeve to accentuate your biceps.

As far as shoes go, you can pair skinnier leg opening jeans with anything from Vans Sk8 Hi’s and Old Skool’s to Janoskis, Adidas Boosts, Yeezys, Chelsea boots, and more! If you go for that relaxed fit cuffed/cropped, try pairing them with Adidas Superstars or Stan Smiths. No show socks are great or wear cool pattern socks and show them off if that’s your thing.

Wow So Much Information

The same jeans won’t look the same on different people. Make them your own. Own your style. Own your body. Embrace your wardrobe. Repurpose old jeans to your benefit. DIY tutorials are everywhere, including YouTube. Make your own ripped-at-the-knee jeans. Take a razor to make your own frayed patches. Cut your own pair of crops (ask your sewing parent or friend to teach you how to use a sewing machine)! If a trend just doesn’t suit you, don’t feel like you have to follow the crowd. P.S. If you’re an extra skinny dude and still want a true skinny fit, don’t be afraid to check out a women’s skinny or jegging. Depending on your build, those styles could end up being the perfect tight fit all over. Clothes are only labeled for gender, that doesn’t mean you can’t make them work for you.

Denim shopping can be rough so I hope you found this helpful for this fall season and more to come. If you have any styling questions, feel free to contact me on social media at @yoomsters, email me at YoomiStylesYou@gmail.com, or come visit me at American Eagle in SoHo, NYC.

Best of luck!
-Yoomi

FLAVNT Friday 10/14/16: Bareskin Top Release Info + New Designs Dropping

Hey y'all! Today is a very exciting FLAVNT Friday because we have a lot to update you on! We know that some of you have been monitoring the progress of our Bareskin Tops very closely and we're happy to tell you that it looks like October 31 is going to be the day they finally hit the market!

From left to right: 

Spencer wearing an Extra Small Rose binder (he/him)
Vic wearing a Large Sand binder (she/her)
Kenny wearing a Medium Copper binder (they/them)
Leo wearing an Extra Large Umber binder (he/him) 

Almost a year ago we brought you the idea for our Bareskin Top – an inclusive nude colored binder that included a range of skin-tones, something that hadn’t been done before. We successfully funded our project through Kickstarter at the end of 2015 and have been hard at work ever since. 

From ideation through the entire manufacturing process we perfected and tweaked our binder until it was as close to perfect as we could possibly get it and we are beyond stoked about the result. We wanted to bring y’all a product that improved the things that we didn’t like about other binders on the market as well as creating a line that was inclusive of a variety of sizes and skin tones. We’re a small business (just two queer kids doing our best to live the dream and give back to the community) so creating a custom garment took longer than expected and allowed others in the binder market to run with our idea – but that’s okay! Competition is healthy and we knew it would happen, but we weren’t going to compromise our product and rush our timeline to try and beat the big guys in the game. We took our time and created a product that we couldn’t be more proud of and that has gotten so many positive reviews from the people who have gotten to try it out behind the scenes and we know that this is the best product of its kind on the market.

In our initial launch, our Bareskin Top will be available in 4 colors (Rose, Sand, Copper, and Umber) and 5 sizes (XS-XL) but we are looking to expand as quickly as possible to add even more diversity to our line. We’re growing this project from the ground up so expansion takes time, but we cannot wait to see where this product takes us. 

As with everything at FLAVNT, 15% of profits from every binder sold will go towards helping someone get gender confirming surgery. Right now any purchase at flavnt.com goes towards our #SupportChris campaign to help our very own @seethestarsablaze finally get top surgery in January of 2017!

Special shoutout to Heather for being our photographer and rocking the hell out of these photos.

AS IF THAT WASN'T ENOUGH:

We were gifted a couple boxes of blank t-shirts (shoutout to Ryan!) to print on so we will be taking custom orders for these specific shirts!

We have a variety of brands but they are all similar in quality (Gildan and Fruit of the Loom mostly).

To Order:

Head to flavnt.com and please choose the size/color shirt you want and then in the comments of your order let us know which design you would like printed on the shirt from the 4 choices below:

  • Gender Roles are Dead Tombstone
  • Gender Roles are Dead Skull
  • Wish You Were Queer
  • FLAVNT Logo Tee

These shirts will be made-to-order, so the turnaround time will be a little longer than normal but these will be one of a kind shirts (for only $20)!

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE:

We're also taking preorders for our favorite Gender Roles Are Dead skull sweatshirt, this year in forest green and our Charming as FVCK sweatshirt is coming back as well. Be sure to prep for the coming winter with some of our comfy sweaters!

ONE MORE THING:

We dropped a new design for the Lady Gayz out there courtesy of our resident Lady Gay, Courtney. This groovy, vintage-feel, triblend tee is going to be your new favorite. You're going to like it so much you won't even want to let your Gal Pal borrow it.

Sheesh, that's a lot of shit we've gotten done this week (not to mention all the new gear we dropped for Let Live Apparel -- which if you haven't check out our sister brand yet, what are you waiting for?? Examples of what you're missing below).

We Love Wednesday: DSISD Bathroom Fight

We LOVE when people in the community stand beside one another and show support, that's what our entire business model is based on. 

This last week the local media exploded over the issue of a young trans girl in Dripping Springs, TX (a small town outside of Austin) who has been allowed to use the girl's bathroom for the last year or so at her public elementary school. If you are like us then you are so shocked and thrilled to hear that this small southern school is allowing this girl to use the correct bathroom, but parents were up in arms when they found out. 

We made a trip out to the elementary school in question this past Monday, where a board meeting was being held to discuss the matter. Imagine that scene in Freeheld when Ellen Page is pleading for her right to Julianne Moore's benefits as her gay lover, except with a lot more camouflage in the audience. 

There we were, clad in our finest queer attire, I was sporting my fave "Support Trans Kids" shirt from Bobo Academy, and we were bracing ourselves for what we assumed would be an onslaught of ignorance. What we were instead met with was and overwhelming amount of support for this little girl. If I were to hazard a guess I would say the "sides" were proportioned about 8:2 in this girl's favor. Most taking the stance that she'd been using the bathroom all along, what's the big deal now?

We were brought to tears as we saw signs from her classmates spelling out "You can Pee next to me!" and "She is who she is!" We were hanging around outside and got to catch part of an interview with one of the little girl's friends who spoke more eloquently than any 9-year-old I've ever met (or adult for that matter) on the topic of gender and inclusive rights for everyone. 

A woman introduced herself to us within the first hour of us waiting around hoping for a seat in the overflowed overflow room, where a livestream was playing of the meeting. This woman had two young adopted children with her, one of whom was trans. The little girl turned to me and said, "They let me use the right bathroom at my school, this is just silly." I told her I couldn't agree more. 

As the meeting went on, for about two hours (much longer than any other recent board meeting according to the parents around us), we got to hear both sides. As infuriating as it was to hear the opposing views I could see where some of their frustration was coming from -- they felt lied to, they felt that they had a right to know about these things -- and though I didn't agree I can understand that a lot of the anger was coming from a fear of the unknown. One father was particularly surprising, standing at the podium clad in a cowboy hat and handlebar mustache, I'll be honest when I say I profiled him from the start. He began by saying that when he found out about the trans child at the school he was forced to confront his feelings about transgender people as a whole, and he didn't like being forced to confront those feelings, I felt myself starting to get frustrated with him. But then he went on to say that his own children didn't seem to have any feelings at all about the issue -- they knew this girl as a girl, they showed no fear or discomfort about it, they showed no problems at all, and if they didn't mind it then why should he. 

A few academics spoke up, making us laugh as they told people to get their heads out of the sand (a very polite way to say "get your heads out of your asses" in an elementary school setting) and realize that this isn't an issue of "boys in girls bathrooms" because trans girls are in fact girls. 

We left as people wrapped up their statements, as we headed out the door I heard a mother saying that she had always trusted the school to do the right thing and she had no doubt they had done just that. I was happy we went to witness this slice of humanity, these people grappling with their beliefs and their internalized transphobia, but mostly the unbelievable amount of educated, open-minded, and respectful individuals who showed this girl love.

I wish that the news had never gotten a hold of this story -- trans women are already often the victims of harassment, abuse, and violence; and to make a young trans girl the center of such a dramatic story at a young age is just reinforcing this narrative. I do hope, however, that she sees the amount of people who stood beside her and dared speak out for her, and that she knows there is community out there even in places you might not expect one to be. 

Music Monday: Week 8

We asked our badass little sister to compile this week's Music Monday and she did not disappoint! Give this a listen as you go about your week; whether you're hitting the gym, working from home, writing, creating art, enjoying nature, hanging with friends -- whatever you're doing, have a few of these songs be the soundtrack to your day/night. You can thank us (and our baby sis) later. 

 

 

Music Monday: Week 7

We don't know about y'all but these past couple of weeks (well most of 2016) can go take a hike. This week's Music Monday playlist is filled with some motivational and semi-upbeat songs to fuel the work week and combat all those bad vibes floating around!

  1. Closer - The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey
  2. 11 Blocks - Wrabel
  3. Drugs - EDEN
  4. Too Good - Drake ft. Rihanna
  5. Work From Home - Fifth Harmony ft. Tu Dolla $ign
  6. Cold Water - Major Lazer ft. Justin Bieber
  7. Makeshift - Cruels ft. Brandyn Burnette
  8. Fumes - EDEN ft. gnash
  9. Say It - Flume ft. Tove Lo
  10. Cruel - Snakehips ft. ZAYN
  11. Starving - Hailee Steinfeld ft. Grey & Zedd

FLAVNT Friday: 8/19/16

Running a small business is ______.

How would you fill in that blank? Rewarding? Challenging? Tiring? Surprising? A shitshow? 

D. All of the above?

Probably D. All of the above. 

We have a learned a lot about running a small business in the last 2 years and we wanted to share a few of those lessons with you on this FLAVNT Friday:

1. You are going to drink sooooo much coffee. So maybe invest in a decent coffee maker so you don't spend all your profits on Starbucks. 

2."Profits" lol. But real talk, you're gonna be pretty poor, but if you're paying (at least some of) your bills doing something you love then who's the real winner here? 

3. Get out of bed and get dressed. Seriously. It makes all the difference in the world to go to work in an outfit you'd wear to any "normal" job, so don't wear sweats every day because you're working from home. It'll just encourage you to watch Netflix all day long (not that we've ever done that).

4. Be active throughout the day. Over at FLAVNT we do pushups every hour on the hour, because you gotta flex your real muscles as well as your creative ones. But really, getting out of your chair will help the day move along much quicker! 

5. Speaking of chairs -- we are pro-standing desks over at our home office. Something about a computer at standing height is just so NICE. And if you're going to have a standing desk -- MAKE your own. they're hella expensive at furniture stores. 

6. Carry business cards with you at all times. Seriously. Even to the gym. I can't tell you how many times we have been in a shirt of ours and been left reaching for a business card only to find that we did not bring any. It's a struggle, but put them by your front door so you just grab a few every time you leave the house.

7. If/when you're written about in media/newspapers/on Tv etc. tweet/email the person who covered you and your business and thank them! It's not only professional to do so and acknowledge their acknowledgment of you, but if in the future you need a connection with that media outlet you will at least have corresponded with them ever-so-slightly. 

8. Find a mail center! Or you could find yourself walking over a mile several times a week to a post office in Brooklyn, only to find out that their was a shipping center two blocks from your apartment. Nbd. Not like you slushed through snow with 30+ packages in a grocery cart on the regular. 

9. People are going to hate on you, especially if you do a lot of your advertising on social media. That's fine, you can't please everyone -- you're not tequila. 

10. Stay true to your goals and your message. There will be days you want to quit. Don't. Remember why you started and do your best every single day. 

FLAVNT Friday: 8/5/16 #SupportChris

It's the moment you've all been waiting for, folks! We are FINALLY partnering with our very own Chris to raise money for his top surgery! 

I know what you're thinking... but he's already shirtless a lot of the time. Well, rest assured, he will be shirtless 100% of the time once he meets his top surgery goal and gets the chest he's always wanted. If that's not incentive enough to support this awesome man, then you can feel good about helping someone feel comfortable and confident in their skin. Not to mention the fact that he's a young trans small-business owner, who has (before his own fundraising) helped raise over $7500 for 5 other trans people's gender confirming surgeries. 

You can feel good about this cause, just like all of our previous partnerships. And we don't think it's outlandish to think that by the end of this 6th partnership we will have raised $10,000 for trans people in need. In case the people in the back couldn't quite hear: by January 2017 we bet that FLAVNT (and our loyal customers) will have raised 10k for gender confirming surgeries so far. That's fvcking incredible. 

And we could not do this without you! You are the reason we do what we do and you are the reason we can do what we do. Keep on keeping on with us, because we are changing the world as we know it every single day (and looking damn fine doing it). 

Now for something a little more trivial, but literally trivial because we are going to post 10 trivia facts about Chris that you may not know already to get to know your newest (but really not so new) FLAVNT partner! 

  1. If Chris could have any super power in the world it would be: the power to read people's minds. (bonus facts: in kindergarten Chris won the award for most curious kid in class, and his favorite super hero is The Flash)
  2. Chris hates chocolate but loves red velvet cake (we know, it doesn't make any sense)
  3. Chris (and Courtney) didn't make Elementary School choir
  4. Courtney taught Chris how to whistle when they were like 4-years-old
  5. Chris did ballet for one day before vowing never to go back
  6. His dog has 3 last names as her name: Rowling Granger Rhodes
  7. He considered the names Carter, Cayden, and Blaine before choosing the name Christopher
  8. Growing up he wanted to be a veterinarian 
  9. Chris really fvcking hates spiders, it's pretty embarrassing really
  10. He sometimes gets this weird Midwest type accent that makes no sense because he's from the South and has never been to the Midwest (ask him to say basketball, it's totally weird)

We Love Wednesday: Support Your Brothers

On Wednesdays we like to spotlight people/brands in the community that are doing wonderful things and that we think that our supporters would love as well. (We know it's Thursday, but shhh) This week we sat down with our good friends over at Support Your Brothers. In their own words: "Support Your Brothers was started as a blog on Tumblr to bring individuals within the transmasculine community together to connect with one another, share each others’ stories, support each other, submit fundraisers, etc. Quickly expanding into an online store, 100% of the profits go back into the trans community via binder donations, packer donations, giveaways, fundraiser donations, etc." 

So who are you? Can you give us a brief introduction?
Drew Tumlinson - 22, FTM/transmasculine man, I'm a web developer and designer by day and the owner of Support Your Brothers by night. At my core, I’m a webmaster with a focus on web development.

Ashtyn Riley-23, FTM, right now I am working full-time and going to school full-time for accounting and finance. I work to pay for my transition and school. I also help run SYB during the free time that I have. I’m hoping that one day my background in business will help to get     SYB to take off. I want to devote a lot more of my time to it once school is finished. 

How did Support Your Brothers come to be?
I (Drew) started it as a support blog for transguys to submit their fundraisers, selfies, questions, etc. I really wanted it to be a positive place for transguys. I didn’t define “positive” from the get-go because I wanted it to be defined by our audience. Overall, I wanted it to be an audience-oriented space where no topics related to being trans or transitioning were off limits.

Drew, Founder of Support Your Brothers

Drew, Founder of Support Your Brothers

What inspired you to create SYB?
I (again, Drew) wanted a place for guys to share their fundraisers, stories, advice, and overall just connect with other trans guys. I think our stories are important but they can't make a difference if we don't share them. I wanted, and still want, Support Your Brothers to be a platform for sharing.

How did y’all end up partnering up?
Ashtyn replied to a “help wanted” post on tumblr. We did a Skype interview and the rest, as they say, is history. We ended up really clicking and having a lot in common so I gave him the position. Like I said, he's now my best friend (ok, besides my gorgeous fiancé).

Ashtyn, Part 2 of Support Your Brothers

Ashtyn, Part 2 of Support Your Brothers

What’s the goal with SYB?
Originally I just wanted to raise some extra money to support my transition. However, Ashtyn will be having top surgery very soon, so our profits are going to his surgery. Ultimately, our goal is positivity. If we're spreading good vibes and encouraging people to be true to themselves, we are successful. In the future we hope to follow FLAVNT’s footsteps and partner up with transmasculine individuals looking to get gender affirming surgeries.

What’s your favorite part of running a community based project like SYB?
I love the connections we can make with other brothers (and sisters, really - we love you Courtney!). I also love knowing that we provide a space for people to be true to themselves. That’s been something I struggled with over the years so to know we’re helping people in that way is beyond satisfactory.

My (Ashtyn speaking) favorite part is knowing that I am making a difference in the community, even if it’s not a big one. I love the connections I’ve made with people (especially you two) and knowing that I am able to help other people get through their difficult situations whether it’s with their transitions or just life. It’s also nice giving people a space where they feel safe and can be who they really are without worrying about what others think. I know for a while I kept my identity a secret because I was afraid of what people would think of me and now I really don’t care what people think of me (you either like me or you don’t) and embrace who I am. I want others to be able to do that. 

Any big plans for the future?
One day we hope to gain even more momentum and be able to help even more people feel confident in their own skin. The ultimate goal is to be able to help guys get the products they need that they may not be able to afford (binders, for example) and fund their completely necessary surgeries.

Any advice for anyone/words of encouragement for people trying to make a difference in/give back to the community?
Drew: Honestly? Hit us up! We’re always looking for more insight from other perspectives, reps, and even people to help run our social media. If you want to make a difference in the community but have your own ideas, write down what you want and go for it. Ask people for help. Ask for advice. Get all the help and support you can and run. Don’t stop until you’re satisfied and have made the difference you wanted to make. Once you’ve done that, make a new goal and start the process over. 
    
Ashtyn: My advice would be, if you have an idea or a dream just go for it 100%. Don’t let anyone or anything hold you back. The only way you’re going to get what you want in life is to bust your ass working for it and when you reach your goals you’re going to feel like a badass. Never settle, once you’ve reached one goal, set a new one and go for it. 

Courtney supporting her brothers

Courtney supporting her brothers

Chris rocking his SYB shirt

Chris rocking his SYB shirt

We love what Drew and Ashtyn are doing over at SYB and can't wait to see where the coming year takes them. As a small queer business, we know how hard it is getting off the ground but, even more so, we know how important it is to help out other queer people and empower them to be successful. We love seeing other businesses actively giving back and helping people and these two guys have genuine hearts of gold. Take the time to go show Support Your Brothers some love, give them a follow, shoot them a message if you need some advice, and buy some of their stylish gear. It all goes to a good cause. Stay rad and support your brothers!

instagram: @supportyourbrothers
tumblr: support-your-brothers.tumblr.com/
site: http://supportyourbrothers.com/

We Love Wednesday: Flex Mafia

On Wednesdays we love to highlight people/brands/things within the community that we really love. This week, we were lucky enough to interview Flex Mafia, another queer-run small business based in Texas that we've been following since they first started out. Flex Mafia is run by two amazing people: Kelsey who is 27 and genderfluid and Jen who is a 33-year-old lesbian -- the business is based in Lubbock, TX, but they travel all around Texas and the surrounding areas for fitness competitions and expos. 

Flex Mafia is a fitness lifestyle brand that was started in 2015 with the goal of promoting a healthy lifestyle and letting you look good while you do it. In their own words: "#FlexMafia is more than muscles. It's love, passion, focus, dedication, and consistency. It is the WAY we train, and look damn good while we do." As a couple of queer business owners that love to stay fit, Flex Mafia is a brand that we've been unapologetically digging on for a long time.

We got to have a quick chat with Kelsey, half of Flex Mafia, to get a little insight into what this business is about and what's in store for the future:

You used to be Might + Main Apparel, how did you become Flex Mafia?
We started off as "Might + Main" which means all of one's strength, but after some legalities we decided to change the name to something more appealing and after about 2 months of back and forth of trying to decide the name Flex Mafia stuck. 

What are your backgrounds in terms of fitness/business?
Jen's background in fitness is the more typical fitness story. She played college basketball, ran a couple of Half Marathons in her late twenties, and then joined CrossFit about two years ago. I, on the other hand, was never athletic. I was the kid who if someone fell down on the basketball court I would help them up instead of playing the game. After a "come to jesus moment" one Christmas day, I realized that my entire family was in shape, and I was completely out of shape and I wasn't happy with the path that I was on. I busted my butt to lose weight and get healthier -- which resulted in me running 2 half marathons. And then, luckily, a little over two years ago, I had a friend get me into CrossFit, and I am in way better shape than I could have ever imagined.

How did you and Jen partner up and make this dream a reality?
Let's see, mine and Jen's friendship started off as the most awkward encounter that anyone could have ever been through. About a year after that we decided to give it another try and the rest is history. We are very similar and our tastes mesh well as far as fashion and passions in life. One day, we discussed that we hated our jobs and that we each had always dreamed of having our own clothing line. Fortunately, my dad had been looking to fund a project like this so he became our financial backer for the start of our little venture. Jen and I work day in and day out to produce product that we adore and only hope that everyone else loves too while learning all of the ins and outs of business ownership. It has definitely been a huge learning experience. We try to produce products that not only we love, but all of our fellow athletes and friends can wear in and out of the gym.

Any cool stuff in store for the future?
We have a very big event that we will be attending in Austin, TX, the weekend of June 25th! The Naturally Fit Games and Fitness Expo! We will be with about 300 other vendors getting our product out there in a realm of not only CrossFit but bodybuilding, grappling, USA weightlifting etc. We are always looking to be vendors at all types of fitness events. So, if you're in the Austin area and into that sort of thing, definitely come out and see us! 

Kelsey (left) and Jen (right) owners of Flex Mafia.

Kelsey (left) and Jen (right) owners of Flex Mafia.

We've been lucky enough to consider Flex Mafia and its owners friends over the past year through connections we've made on social media and through mutual respect as queer Texans trying to make the world a better and more stylish place. We own a couple of their shirts and rep them in the gym as often as possible and hope that some of you will do the same because this brand is doing big things for a small company. Anyone who promotes self confidence and living a healthy lifestyle is someone that we can wholeheartedly endorse.

We love Flex Mafia, and so should you.

Go check out their site and grab some great gear at:
http://flexmafia.com/ 

And show them some love and follow them on social media:
instagram: @flexmafiaofficial
tumblr: http://flexmafiaofficial.tumblr.com/ 
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FlexMafia
twitter: @flexmafiaoffic

FLAVNT Friday: 3/19/16

We have some really exciting news regarding the Bareskin Binder! We received two prototype 2.0's in the mail yesterday and they look A-MAZ-ING! Chris has been testing them both out himself to make sure that they are up to our standard and are as fully functional and comfortable as possible. The prototypes vary in the lining used on the inside and the stitching, but aside from that the silhouette, outside material, and cut of the top has been almost completely finalized. 

The Bareskin Binder in action at Austin
Bouldering Project!

We will be sending our final tweaks back to our manufacturer by early next week and once we have a finalized prototype that we are all satisfied with (hopefully by the end of the month) we will begin production. The production timeline that we’ve been given looks like about 8-10 weeks which should put us on track to drop these bad boys by early summer! We will keep y’all in the loop but we hope that everyone is as excited as we are. Chris had a blast climbing in his today!

A couple questions we've been getting pretty frequently are:

  • What is the pricing going to look like? We can't give a definitive answer until the production is underway, but $50ish seems like a reasonable guess.
  • Will these work for larger chests? What has to be remembered is that mass cannot be erased -- it can only be redistributed. Larger chest can be compressed and flattened, but they cannot be completely gotten rid of -- even larger bodied cis guys can have large chests. Our binder will compress large chests as safely and effectively as possible.
  • When is the release date? Like we said, early summer is the goal. Once we get production underway we will have a more solid date, but we are hoping for early June.
  • Will it be safe to workout in this? We cannot condone working out in a binder for liability reasons, but we can say that you will know your body the best. The range of motion and comfort provided by this top is unparalleled by any binder on the market currently.

Aside from the Bareskin update, we finished up out first 2 weeks with Jett! Things have been going amazingly with our #SupportJett campaign, we raised $193 in the first 9 days! At that pace, we could reach our $2500 goal in 117 days! Additionally, we dropped a TON of cool new designs this month. Check out the pictures below if you don't believe us when we say how great these new products are!

New 100% Binary Free tshirt: $27

New 100% Binary Free tshirt: $27

Sticker Pack 2: $5

Sticker Pack 2: $5

Super Sticker Pack: $10

Super Sticker Pack: $10

Handsome as Heck tshirt: $27

Handsome as Heck tshirt: $27

Patriarchy Shmatriarchy tshirt: $30

Patriarchy Shmatriarchy tshirt: $30

Make sure you check out our new stickers (available in our Sticker Pack 2 and Super Sticker Pack) and our three new shirt designs! 15% of all purchases at flavnt.com go towards Jett's top surgery fundraiser. Great clothes for an even greater cause!

Check in next week for even more updates and blog posts. Until then, stay rad.

FLAVNT Friday: 2/5/16

Hey y'all! Really exciting update this week! Aiden finally has a surgery date for his top surgery and it is definitely sooner rather than later -- Aiden will be getting top surgery on Thursday February 11. That means that we have 6 days to raise as much money as possible for him. In the 4 weeks that we've worked together thus far we've raised an astounding $653 together, which is so amazing. We're hoping to raise $250 more at least for Aiden in these final days, so please take the time to spread the word and pick up some clothes to benefit him! 

Following Aiden's surgery, we will be taking applications for our next partner for another week and will be picking our top 3 applicants on 2/18/16 and hope to have a new partner chosen by 2/21/16. So if you want to apply or know anyone who would be a great FLAVNT partner, please send them our way and have them fill out our application which can be found under the "Fundraising Application" link on our site!

More exciting news: We had our consult with a manufacturer in Fort Worth on Monday of this week that went really well and it looks like we are going to use them to manufacture our Bareskin Tops! This is awesome, because finding a manufacturer has been a long and strenuous process that has taken upwards of a year now and cost us a lot of money, so we are happy to have found some amazing people to work with. On that same note, we finally have all of the rewards in for our Kickstarter Rewards, so we are going to start slowly but surely sending those y'alls way. So be on the lookout for tote bags and drunk post cards, this is going to be fun! There are so many other things happening and our schedules have been beyond crazy lately, but we are super excited for the coming weeks! Check in next Friday for another update (hopefully with an update from Aiden on how his surgery went!)

Much love.

Music Monday: Week 6

We're on the road tonight on our way to Fort Worth to meet with a manufacturer in the morning about our Bareskin Top (yay! wish us luck!) so we put together a playlist for the road, check it out!

1. Pillowtalk - Zayn
2. Hello - Stephen
3. Cardiac Arrest - Bad Suns
4. Strange Love - Halsey
5. Should've Ran After You - Cole Swindell
6. Me, Myself, & I - G-Eazy
7. All My Friends - Snakehips
8. Earned It - Kinna Grannis
9. Stressed Out - Twenty One Pilots
10. Wasn't That Drunk - Josh Abbott Band