Fashion designer Dawid Tomaszewski has for many years been committed to equality and self-determination – not just during Pride Month. “I support all actions that help bring the subject to the center of our society,” he explains in an interview.
On June 1, the annual Pride Month begins worldwide again. In commemoration of the Stonewall Uprising of 1969, many demonstrations and events are taking place this month, standing up for the rights of people of different sexual orientations and identities. Fashion designer Dawid Tomaszewski (41) has for many years been committed to equality and self-determination. In an interview, the Polish-German fashion designer talks about Pride Mode, his attitude to Pride Month and the chance to encourage others.
Diversity and tolerance are celebrated in the month of Pride. Then the rainbow colors shine on many channels and outfits. What does this symbol mean to you?
Dawid Tomaszewski: Many brands and fashion designers interpret the subject in their own way. This creates really nice designs. The goal, however, should be not to think in clichés. The LGBTQIA * scene is rather a source of inspiration. So it does not always have to be a rainbow. It has a long history and important significance for society. But I would not just reduce the fashionable form of expression to that.
You designed a hoodie for QVC specifically for Pride Month. But then you can not do without colors completely, right?
Tomaszewski: The “Love is Love” hoodie has a clear message, and of course it stands with its color accents for diversity and tolerance. But it can also be used all year round – without a direct connection to Pride Month. And so it must be with self-determined love. It should be a natural part of our society and not just a topic once a year. Our society should not be perceived as colorful birds of paradise, but as people like you and me. And yet, of course, I support all actions that help bring the issue to the center of our society. With the sale of my limited edition hoodie, QVC supports Queeramnesty and donates 50 percent of the profits.
What does Pride Month mean to you?
Tomaszewski: That is the reason for a statement that you live as a normal human being in this country and have the same rights – even though we are sometimes still treated differently. We can get married and have children. That is why I am showing the flag, even though you can still feel that there are prejudices – especially in my home country Poland. It is very bad for society under the new government. I find it all the more important that companies use their reach to set an example and educate.
How were the reactions to you coming out?
Tomaszewski: I was so lucky to grow up in a very loving and open-minded family. My mom knew it anyway and loves me the way I am. Outside of this security, I also had to experience some discrimination. That is why I am constantly committed to the issue of gender equality. I support the AIDS organization. And I help people who experience exclusion from their families as a result of coming out by offering myself as a conversation partner. My own experience helps me with that. It only got easier for me and mine to get out when I went to London. In Poland 25 years ago, it was hardly conceivable to live out one’s sexuality openly – it is unfortunately still difficult today.
How do you use your fame to make a difference in society?
Tomaszewski: I’ve been successful in the industry for 20 years. But before my time at QVC, my face was barely known. Everyone knew the name Dawid Tomaszewski, but not so much me. It’s different now because of the proximity to the customers. Here I am noticed directly and I am very happy with the positive feedback. I’m open about my homosexuality. But that should not always be a problem. Nevertheless, I am proud to be able to encourage others and show them that they are good as they are.