This June we’re showing we’re #DREAMPROUD with the help from our new friends over at Gay Pride Apparel. The clothing and accessories company, which launched earlier this year, will join us every Wednesday and Thursday by the pool at The Beach at Dream Downtown for a pop-up shop featuring their signature collections, with a portion of the proceeds going to The Center. They even created a special capsule collection just for the Dream team!
We caught up with founders Jesus Gutierrez & Sergio Aragon to chat all things Pride, summer, and Gay Pride Apparel.
How did the idea to start your business come about?
We wanted to represent the LGBTQ+ community in a different way that wasn’t being represented. We wanted to create clothing that we would wear and that was an homage to the strong culture and history of the community.
What does Gay Pride Apparel, and Pride in general, mean to you? What makes you #DREAMPROUD?
Being proud means being true to yourself and accepting yourself. It’s about being loving, understanding, and accepting of everyone around you. Gay Pride Apparel strives to allow individuals to express their pride in a cute and subtle way.
The two of you are life partners and business partners — do you find that helps in running your business?
Being able to say that we have been friends since the 6th grade means that we have been through it all and we can read each other’s minds. It’s wild. It’s the most essential part of our business. We’re not afraid of speaking up if we don’t agree on a design or business decision.
What is your favorite item in your collections?
Sergio: My favorite item from the collection will always be one of our first ever designs which is our Arizona Roots shirt. To know that we have so much support back home where we are from and to see where we are at now and growing is amazing.
Jesus: My absolute favorite design is the “Gay Liberation” T-shirt. It’s an homage to the original Gay Liberation Movement from the 1960s.
What three words would you use to describe your designs and merchandise?
Inclusive, chic, and historic.
What message do you hope to spread through your clothing and accessories, and what kind of community are you hoping to create with your new venture?
We spread a message of love, acceptance, and pride. We are creating a community free of judgment and full of love with people from all over the world.
This year is the 50th anniversary of Stonewall — how do you think that will create an even bigger meaning for Pride this year?
Being able to recognize the history and acknowledge where we come from is something super meaningful and something we think about throughout every process. This year will be a year of reflection on what we have accomplished and a time to think of what we’ll need to be better in the future.
Favorite poolside treat?
We love a good hot dog and a beer combo!
Favorite summer activity?
Getting together with friends at Sheep’s Meadow in Central Park in NYC or Charlie’s Patio in Phoenix.
Ideal summer vacation destination?
Favorite spots in the city?
Central Park, PHD Rooftop Lounge, Washington Square Park, The Stonewall Inn, and the West Village in general.