Launched in September 2016, the London based genderqueer fashion label Bull & Dagger offers an enticing cocktail of classic British styles with a twist of English eccentricity using the finest wools, silks and cottons. “Bulldagger” was once a derogatory term for women who chose to eschew the confines of socially accepted gender boundaries – now, the founder Meera Amin, hopes that the phrase will now mean the fashion label of choice for those women. I caught up with Meera to find out more…. Hi Meera….
Hi! I am Meera Amin, creator of Bull & Dagger – the UK’s first genderqueer fashion label. Bull & Dagger clothing is tailored for gender expression rather than restriction, we have a customer base which includes individuals who identify as queer, androgynous, non-binary, gender fluid, gender neutral, gender non-conforming and trans.
What inspired you to set up your label, Bull & Dagger?
As someone who identifies as a queer woman, not being able to find the masculine clothing that I like in sizes that fit has always been a cause of frustration. I have found that I am certainly not alone in having this frustration, and so I decided to do something about it. I started working on Bull & Dagger approximately a year and a half ago and launched the brand earlier this year.
Have you always had a background in, and a passion for, fashion?
I currently work as a Research Analyst for the legal services oversight regulator for England and Wales. I studied Biochemistry at university and have since worked as an analyst in several different sectors. Prior to creating Bull & Dagger, the closest I’ve come to the fashion industry was when I briefly worked as a fashion photographer after university. Despite my lack of fashion training, I have always had a passion for fashion – particularly formal menswear – and believe that fashion can be an incredibly powerful tool, used to display a personality and image of yourself to the outside world.
I like the London Underground Shirt. Early days yet but what pieces are proving popular amongst your customers so far this season?
Thank you – I wanted to create a piece that was fun and reflected the fact the we are a brand that produces all of our clothing in London. The two most popular pieces in the current collection have been the ‘Pleated Floral Silk Panel Shirt’ and ‘Faux Leather Panel Kilt’. Both pieces are truly made for everyone regardless of gender presentation. We’ve take the idea of a classic tuxedo shirt and added in luxury fabrics, colour and bold patterns. The kilt is a fabulous piece which combines plain and tartan wools with an eco-friendly faux leather panel with pockets, and is available in two lengths.
Out of all the outfits in your collection, what is your favourite?
My favourite outfit in the collection is the Blue and Yellow Double Breasted Blazed with Yellow Shorts – this outfit has classic masculine tailoring, a touch of flamboyance and is made from a beautiful Italian wool blended with 3% Lycra to allow the perfect fit for all body types.
Your outfits are a cocktail of impeccable tailoring, bold colours, clever stitching, and flamboyant patterns. Where did you draw inspiration from for your collection?
For my first collection, I have very much created a range of clothing that I personally would love to wear. I am inspired by classic menswear but didn’t want to simply take current menswear trends and then produce them for a range of body types. I wanted the collection to offer something new and different – which is why we have chosen bold colours, flamboyant patterns and a carefully selected range of fabrics.
Which famous person would you love to see as the “face” of the Bull & Dagger collection?
I would love to see Ruby Rose in Bull & Dagger clothing (and not just because of I have a huge girl crush). I think she has a great look and would look incredible in our clothing – and is someone that many of our customers recognise and love.
Looking ahead to Spring/Summer – what styles/ colours do you hope will dominate your collection?
As a brand that exists outside of mainstream fashion, and as one of very few brands in the gender queer/ non-conforming space, we have decided not to follow traditional fashion cycles. We will be adding items to our collection throughout the year and they will be based on a combination of personal inspiration and trends and ideas from the queer community.
As you are based in England, is your clothing range available to purchase overseas too?
Our clothing range is available to purchase online and can be delivered globally at no extra charge.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
I tend to wear a smart shirt, waistcoat, bowtie, slim-fit trousers and brogues at all times (except when sleeping, of course). It seems to be the perfect combination for both my day job and my social life.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites? (Apart from your own!)
I’m a big fan of Topman (as are many of my queer friends). I would love for Bull & Dagger to do a collaborative genderqueer/gender neutral collection with them someday – making the type of clothes that we produce more accessible.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
A new tailor made suit. We offer a bespoke design and tailor service to customers based in London – a perfectly fitted suit designed just for you feels amazing.
Boots or Shoes?
Brogues, brogues, brogues – all of the time (except when I pop to the coffee shop in my Superman high tops). Comfort and style – although not always suitable in the London rain.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more about Bull & Dagger
Great talking to you Meera and I hope you do get your dream collaboration with Top Man. I love the fact that you love brogues, as they are one of my favourite style of shoes – although I am a major boots fan. This season I’ve seen some absolutely fab brogues about in all colours of the rainbow – and also loafers …..and they are so comfortable! So dear readers, do you like the recent trend of brogues and loafers? I think Meera’s fashion label is a breath of fresh air and definitely meets a demand – what’s your view? Do tell!
Photo Credits: All photos have been published with kind permission from Bull & Dagger.
The Photographers: Images Photography by Thomas-James Fisher; Oli Ashrafi-Tari (last photograph)