Snapback Tiara is a black-owned, queer-owned apparel line based in Mississauga, Ontario. The brand includes feminine, masculine, and gender-neutral designs on classic silhouettes to inspire pride and self-expression.
Created by graphic designer Cherie Chase, Snapback Tiara was initially a side hustle. “I’ve always been interested in fashion and t-shirts. It spawned from a friend of mine saying, “you’re a really good designer. You should create your clothing line”. From the beginning, Cherie was interested in embracing the entire gender spectrum in her original designs. “My friend suggested the original name of “snapbacks and tiaras”.
I liked how that sounded. It represents the combination of the masculine and feminine”. After a while of running the clothing line as a passion project, Cherie was ready to pursue her new business full-time. “Fast forward a couple of years, I decided to reinvigorate the Snapback Tiara idea that I had before and put a lot more effort into it. In December 2018, I officially launched the business”.
The mission of Snapback Tiara is to challenge the ideas of what “Queer Fashion” means. Cherie is conscious of creating the apparel in a way that flatters any fashion sense. When asked to describe queer apparel in her own words, Cherie explained that it is inclusive to any style of someone who identifies as queer or gender nonconforming. “I think it’s such a broad range of things. Not including things like a drag.
Things like the specific way some gay men might dress or how non-binary folk or those who are androgynous choose to dress. How femme lesbians or femme bisexuals/pansexuals style themselves. It can be multiple things and just depends on your perspective”. Personally, Cherie gravitates towards a masculine style with relaxed fits. “For someone more of a tomboy, like me, it’s about comfy clothing and a certain type of swag and energy”.
Snapback Tiara recognizes that the activism work is far from over for BIPOC and queer people worldwide. That is why visibility and authenticity are so important. The Snapback Tiara website states, “We do not believe that there is no longer any work to be done in terms of politics and media representation.
Not when our queer brothers and sisters from around the world are still suffering persecution for loving whom they love. We need positivity now more than ever!” By being an openly black and queer-owned clothing business, Cherie hopes to remind people of the artistic and cultural significance black entrepreneurs have provided in society. “We are just as valid as any other business we are supporting.
Our creativity is the driving force for many things, and I think we should be recognized for it. A lot of black women are trendsetters in beauty and pop culture. We should be more seen for our creative contributions”.
The newest design in the Snapback Tiara collection is called “This Could Be Us”. It features a moment of thrill and spontaneity between two people in a lush aesthetic. Cherie is currently creating new designs that she is testing before release. When asked about how does she balance masculine and feminine influences in her original apparel?
She is quick to add, “I think “whom do I see wearing this?”. Sometimes I think of my friends or an influencer. I look at them and ask myself, “what energy am I trying to convey here?” Sometimes it comes from something funny. I work with a funny group of people, and we find a way of flipping queer terminology”.
A brilliant example of this is the “Them Fatale” design, a play-on word for femme fatale suited for gender-nonconforming identities. Despite the uncertainty of the ongoing pandemic, Cherie is looking forward to Pride month and hopes to engage in online and outdoor events to promote her brand and connect to the community.
For more information, please visit https://snapbacktiara.com/