With Pride month in June, many of our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters may feel the need to proclaim our identities through our wardrobes this summer. But what do you wear if you don’t want to don some cliché-adorned t-shirt, socks with rainbow stripes at the top, or a kitschy pair of sneakers? Photographer and fashion designer Andrew Werner has the answer: one his “Pride” lapel flowers, which are just a small part of his ever-growing collection of accessories from his company, Fleur’d.
“As a photographer who frequently covers society events, red carpets, and black-tie affairs, I so often watched men in tuxedos blend into the background because other than inconspicuous accessories that were seldom noticed by most people, the entire ensemble lacked both individuality and a pop of personality,” notes Werner, who is based in New York City.
“Moreover, because I grew up in the fashion retail industry, I was aware that the lapel flower has always been a symbol of refinement and sophistication, So I made it my goal to modernize and propel the lineage of the boutonnière into the 21st century, for men and women alike,” he continues. “To achieve this, I decided to create this collection of pins in which I craft diverse flowers from a variety of fabrics, including cashmere, leathers and exceptional exotic skins, which means they look just as good on denim jackets as they do on tuxedos.” (The pins retail for $85 and up.)
While Werner started the business in 2015, he created his first Pride collection of pins in 2017. “As a proud gay man who is continually inspired by the queer community, this collection is deeply personal, and I am grateful that it has been embraced by both the LGBTQ+ community and its allies,” he says. “The initial Pride Satin Dahlia quickly became a fashion-forward symbol allowing its wearers to express what they believe in and stand for in a way that was subtle yet powerful.” As a result, it has empowered people to strike up conversations about their beliefs, particularly when receiving compliments on their fashion sense, he adds.
Despite the success of that Fleur, Werner has never been content to leave well enough alone, periodically adding new pins to the Pride collection. “While we started with the rainbow Dahlia in Satin, in 2019, we released a Pride Dahlia in leather as well as the Helms Leather Dahlia depicting the symbolic pink, white and blue of the transgender flag. It was named in honor of Monica Helms, the transwoman who designed and created the Transgender Flag in 1999,” says Werner.
“For 2022, I felt it necessary to create another Fleur’d Pin for Pride. I chose a carnation this time, which is a symbol of love and devotion. I believe it is everything we as a community need more than ever right now. (The 2022 Pride Collection includes four new options: a Pride Carnation and a Helms Carnation, each available in both leather and satin.)
One of Werner’s missions with Fleur’d goes beyond celebrating identity and diversity through his creations; he also helps many important causes by donating some of his proceeds to such charities as UNICEF, the Stonewall Community Foundation and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
“In March, Fleur’d Pins released a Leather Sunflower with a crystal center in response to the invasion of Ukraine, representing the country’s national flower. I was so pleased that these have sold out twice,” he notes. “My goal with every Fleur’d pin is to allow the wearer to make a visual impact, express what he or she cares about, and create an everlasting piece of individual style.”
To view the Fleur’d collection or place an order, visit www.Fleurdpins.com.
—Brian Scott Lipton