Cleo Corraine

Sports wear designer & Fashion stylist

Cleo Corraine graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2017 having gained a BA (Hons) in Fashion Design with Marketing.

The inspiration for Cleo’s collection “HooliTrans”, generated from her upbringing in a suburban area of Rome and her personal experience of being a trans woman, as well as Cleo’s strong interest in critical writing, explored through her dissertation titled ‘Public Discourse of Transgender theories & Identities in the Hyperconnected times of Cyborg Society’.

“Most of the people I knew as a teen, wore sportswear daily as what I suppose was both a fashion and a political statement. There was something really empowering in wearing that kind of uniform, especially growing up as a ‘femme’ person who was never truly accepted by most of the people around me. For this collection, I was keen on recreating that sense of unity and belonging.”

Fetishisation of trans bodies from whom the trans community defines as “tranny chasers”, explored through the lenses of academic studies, was another focal point in developing her collection.

“Oftentimes, males who in their daily lives over-perform masculinity, chase after trans women because of their obsession with femininity, sometimes going as far as to send unsolicited pics of them wearing female underwear! I thought this was particularly funny, considering most of these men aim to project an ultra-masculine persona.”

Taking notes of the conversations she and her trans friends had, and the irony contained in them, informed Cleo’s design process, which consisted in a deliberate mockery, feminisation and subversion of the macho’s uniform.

“I feel as if nowadays there isn’t so much of a community anymore, there is great division even among LGBTQ people, especially within the Transgender umbrella. Through my design process, I was inspired by strong trans women, trans liberations warriors such as Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, who I perceive as being strong yet not lacking a sense of humor. I wanted to create a collection for strong women and their friendship. In this particular instance, it happened to be about a gang of trans women who isn’t afraid of breaking taboos and challenging men.”

The result is a statement collection that is political and satirical, while being urban, feminine and with a commercial appeal.