Tag Archives: Robyn Exton

London’s most diverse and inclusive fashion show returns this September

London’s most diverse and inclusive fashion show returns to the V&A Museum of Childhood, with 11 LGBTQ+ designers walking with 100 models of all genders, sexualities, races, expressions, abilities and identities.

Last year, the London Queer Fashion Show launched as one of London’s largest fashion event celebrating LGBTQ bodies and fashion. This year, the show returns on September 21st, to host 1000 people at the Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood.

The LQFS stage is home to established and emerging fashion designers and is the show within season to spot new queer talent.

Designers in the 2018 show have just been announced as: Bull and Dagger, Plus Equals, Poca London, Vytoldas Miliauskas, Yodah Williams, Cause Perdue, Cochevelou, Danielle Clarke, Rickielee Drayford, Livia Rita and Not Applicable.

Over 100 models, empowering all gender identities, sexualities, races and bodies, will walk the catwalk, from celebrities like Rain Dove, to leaders and influencers from London’s community like Lady Phyll, organiser of UK Black Pride, Kenny Jones, Jay Jay Revlon and Marnie Scarlet. This is an event is for all expressions of identity to be recognised and acknowledged.

The show’s producer Robyn Exton says

“The hunger for representation that the queer community now demands is finally being met with our unique event. If main stream labels aren’t able to reflect our identities, then we will do it ourselves.”

Tickets were released with the powerful video ‘Walk On’, directed by Oliver Nias, a film that captures the heart of the event; the power of the people and identities that walk the catwalk.

The London Queer Fashion Show Redefines Gender Rules

Last week, queer designers, fashion influencers and over 300 guests gathered at Hackney Showroom for London’s first ever Queer Fashion Show.

Introduced by transgender model and activist Munroe Bergdorf – who was recently fired by L’Oreal for her comments on race – the event saw seven of London’s most exciting LGBTQ+ designers showcasing their collections with clothing that expressed the most radical of identities.

Gone were the obvious separations some see in shows between the young brands and the established. All designers stood on equal ground and wowed the crowd.

From unexpected pairings of latex and cotton in Akvile Jancauskaite’s collection; to the beautiful, twisted and dark fantasy created by Ingrid Kraftchenko.

Then there was Jack Goode’s combination of classic tailoring and clubkid sensibility; and Emily Witham’s use of pattern manipulation and showmanship.

Ben Copperwheat was also on hand to deliver a collection of colourful and vibrant pieces, alongside Halina Edwards whose work focused on intricate patchworking and material manipulation.

And finally, the tailored display by Thomas Thomas, who make vintage-inspired British suits for women.

Beyond the clothing, the energy at the event came from the models; the most eclectic, diverse representation of identities.

All races, all genders, sexualities, body types and ages were carrying the collections down the runway. Each time a model took the stage, the crowds responded to seeing an individual that represented their own identity & community with cries and shouts of support. This show was real, raw and representative.

CEO of London Queer Fashion Show, Robyn Exton, ended the event with a call out to attendees, asking those who want to stand together, who want to be represented, visible and present in the queer fashion community to step forward and join the LQFS movement.

Share brands, models and partners for the next event with them to continue building the most diverse fashion show in London.

London Queer Fashion Show will return in February 2018.


The Largest Showcase Of UK Queer Designers Is Coming London Fashion Week

This September, London will see its very first Queer Fashion Show.

The event is timed to coincide with the final day of London Fashion Week, and is seen as a way to challenge how the fashion industry has traditionally seen gender and the LGBTQ+ community.

LQFS CEO Robyn Exton (the founder of the HER app), explained

The London Queer Fashion Show is about creating a space for brands that are challenging and expressing how young and queer audiences are already seeing their identity. We’re tired of dealing with the restricting gender norms the fashion industry has been defined by for decades.

Our designers are asking the right, provocative questions; we’re really proud to work with them on creating this event and show London how diverse fashion can truly be.”

Over 50 brands applied to exhibit at the event, and the chosen six reflect some of London’s most exciting designers.

This includes Akvile Jancauskaite who designs ready-to-wear couture with lots of clean lines and 90s inspired block colours.

US-based Ben Copperwheat and his explosions of colour.

Emily Witham creates equally fanciful clothing, with a recent menswear collection based on the Alice in Wonderland universe.

Thomas Thomas is a studio founded by SJ Weston, whose website boasts of “androgynous tailoring”, which she hopes removes the need for anyone to spend hours customising quote-unquote ‘men’s’ clothing, as she did.

Ingrid Kraftchenko is probably the most explicitly political exhibitor, albeit with a playful touch.

Bespoke tailor and London College of Fashion graduate Jack Goode completes the line-up.

On the other side of the curtain, models like Rain Dove and transgender activist Sam Moir Smith will be walking the catwalk and showing off the garms.

The event will be followed by an after party, where Wiggy Workshop will be on hand, bringing with them their glittering collection of hairpieces.

Tickets for the event cost £25 (although fashion show-only or after party-only tickets can be purchased too) and doors open at 6pm.

London Queer Fashion Show comes to Hackney Showroom (Amhurst Terrace, E8 2BT) on Wednesday 20 September.

One Third Of LGBTQ Women Do Not Feel Welcomed At Pride

A recent survey conducted by queer women’s app HER, found some disappointing statistics when it came to how LGBTQ women feel at Pride events.

Of 3000+ LGBTQ women asked in America, less than half of had plans to go to any kind of Pride festivities this year, even though 74% said there were local Pride events organised in where they lived.

The main reasons reported for not attending Pride were “I had no one to accompany me”, followed by “None of the events were of interest to me” and “The town I live in did not have anything planned”.

However, sadly of those attending, only 69% said they felt welcomed or well represented at Pride events.

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Robyn Exton, founder and CEO of HER, explained

We need Pride now more than ever. These numbers highlight that there are a lot of queer and bisexual women who don’t feel welcomed or heard by our community and, in consequence, don’t go to Pride events.

We all must be aware of this problem so we can improve together. Our number one goal as a community should be that all letters of the LGBTQIA rainbow of all genders feel included. This is what Pride is all about: being seen, heard and welcomed.”

The survey also reported that the importance of Pride was not missed. 89% said they felt Pride events were beneficial for the community.

Lesbian Dating App ‘Her’ Opens its Doors to the Whole of America

Her, the app for lesbian and queer women, is opening its doors to the whole of the US today after seeing unprecedented demand for the app from women across the country.


With requests tripling over the past 2 months, Her has seen a huge growth from women across the country requesting it to launch in their cities.

The growth has been since introducing more social features to the app, such as the Feed section, with users coming back on average 5 times per day (but up to as many as 35 times).

Founder Robyn Exton said,

The feed has had the most crazy response, especially the events section. People love finding out what’s happening in their city and getting to meet women before so they have a friend to go with. We also have a new feature called Question Of The Day where everyone chats about LGBT topics and meets women with similar interests”

Exton also explained that there has also been a change in the way women are using the app; and the way they are choosing to identifying their sexualities.


The number of women choosing to take no label as their sexual identifier has grown from 1% to 9%.

We’ve focussed on making this a space women can come to meet other women, no matter what they are looking for. We’ve always had an amazing lesbian identified audience but now there’s this huge growth coming in from women that aren’t looking to identify with any label”

Leading Lesbian App Dattch is Relaunched as HER, After Receiving $1million Investment

After receiving $1million investment, Dattch, the leading app for lesbian and bisexual women, is relaunching as HER.

The Lesbian App

The name change signals the next stage of growth for the app, as it takes on a stronger social focus in preparation for expanding across America and launching internationally.

HER has also closed a $1million seed round of investment from leading investors Alexis Ohanian, founder & Chair of Reddit, Michael Birch, founder of Bebo, Andy McLoughlin, founder of Huddle, AngelList and 500 startups.

Also: What Women Want From Dating: An Interview with DATTCH Founder Robyn Exton

Created by Robyn Exton, the app combines Pinterest style layouts and Tinder functionality with queer events and the best content from across the web.

Multi Screen shot

Announcing the relaunch, CEO and founder Exton said:

“HER is about creating a space where lesbian, bi, queer, curious, flexisexual, pansexual and not-so-straight women can meet and find out what’s going on in their lesbian world. Dattch taught us a huge amount and you’ll see the best parts of it in HER, along with a whole new experience incorporating everything our community kept asking us for.

More social, less dating. Women aren’t looking for a ‘Hot or Not’ – they want to chat & meetup, make friends, meet girlfriends, find events. HER is a complete lesbian community” 

The app, which launched in London in 2013, is now available in the UK, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami and New York. Phoenix is the most-requested city so it’s next on the docket, and will be available to women there by next month.

HER is available to download on the Apple app store & will be available on the Android store soon.

Meet Every Lesbian


What Women Want From Dating: An Interview with DATTCH Founder Robyn Exton

With its innovative features and cool design, the DATTCH app is a phenomenon in the world of lesbian dating. Recently named the Huffington Post’s Entrepreneur of the Week, founder Robyn Exton is expanding the app into the US, Australia and Canada. Tom Sykes asked her about the secret of her success.

Tom Sykes: How and why did you first set up DATTCH?

Robyn Exton: I used to work for a branding consultancy and one of my clients was a dating business. I learned a lot from them about the business. Later on I was in the pub helping a friend sign up to a dating site. It was basically a site for gay men, which had been re-skinned for gay women. It asked questions like “How much body hair do you have?” That may be relevant to a bear or a twink, but not really to a lesbian!

There were fake accounts on this site and you’d get straight guys sending you messages trying to “convert” you or asking for a threesome. So I realised that lesbians had two choices: these re-skinned sites or straight sites where, even though you’d select “interested in women”, you’d still get harassed by straight men. Seeing a gap in the market for a lesbian-specific dating site, I quit my day job and spent 6 months raising the bootstrap funds for a brand new app. It launched in the UK in September 2013.

TS: What features did you build into the app that would distinguish it from the competition?

RE: We architected our app around what women want from dating, which is very different to what men want. We started with a standard engine – the type that all the other dating sites use – and found it didn’t work for females. Our users weren’t messaging each other and the interaction was really poor.

Unlike other sites we don’t show you the user who is nearest to you geographically because girls tend to find that a bit creepy. We discovered that women are really bad at describing themselves as compared to men. On gay male apps we found that men tend to exaggerate characteristics like height, saying they’re 6 foot instead of the truth which might be 5 foot 9. On the other hand, women tend to undersell their body types. They won’t, for example, say they have an athletic body type unless they go to the gym every single day.

We took the emphasis away from writing about yourself and onto using images to describe who you are. DATTCH is a mobile platform and our phones are filled with images of how we spend our time and where we’ve been going out and so on. In many ways our pictures are a far more accurate reflection of the kind of person we are. So our profiles on DATTCH have Instagram built into them so you upload images that show how you spend your time, the food you eat, the sports you play etc. It’s also possible for users to “like” each other’s content.

We also have an interaction game called ‘Would You Rather’ where you get shown the profiles of two girls and you decide which one you’d rather have a conversation with. If it’s a mutual match then DATTCH will let you know. Our ‘Relationship Mode’ allows users to retain membership even after they have found a steady partner. Your profile is updated to say that you’re off the market, even though you can still access the blog and chat with other users

TS: There’s been a lot of bad press about fraud and abuse on dating sites. How does DATTCH safeguard against those threats?

RE: We verify everyone who joins the app, ensuring that they are both female and genuine. We mostly use Facebook to do that as well as Skype and phone calls. Obviously we can’t guarantee that at some point somebody who shouldn’t get through will get through, but so far the system has worked fine.

The downside with our approach is that some people who we’d like to join aren’t able to at the moment. While we are accepting female-identified trans users we are not accepting male-identified trans users, but that could change in the future.

TS: Have you tried it DATTCH yourself?

RE: Yeah!

TS: Was it successful?

RE: I have gone on dates through it, but I’m not now in a relationship as a result. However, I did meet a couple recently that, having met on DATTCH, are now moving in together. They described each other as “soul mates” which was really nice!

TS: So where next for DATTCH?

RE: The Android version has just come out and last Friday we launched in New York. We are then expanding across the US city-by-city before hitting Canada, Australia and then the non-English speaking countries.