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Lakeview, Wrigleyville, Northalsted

Bears, Pups And Otters Can Rep Their Identities With New Clothing Line By 2 Local LGBTQ-Owned Businesses

Edgewater-based streetwear brand Soundoff is partnering with Northalsted-based Men's Room to offer the special LGBTQ-themed collection.

Men's Room, 3343 N. Halsted St.
Jake Wittich/Block Club Chicago
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NORTHALSTED — Members of the LGBTQ community can represent their identities — bears, otters, pups and more — with a new clothing line launched in partnership by two LGBTQ-owned businesses.

The IYKYK Icon collection, made in partnership with Edgewater-based streetwear brand Soundoff and Northalsted-based Men’s Room, features T-shirts and tank tops depicting various LGBTQ communities.

The shirts reference several nicknames that flag a queer person’s identity or sexual preference — including bears, polar bears, cubs, otters, pigs, pups and drag.

“The vector-graphic icons were created with the intent that they could be worn by everyone from admirers, supporters and advocates to active participants,” said Daryl Sneed, CEO and creative director of Soundoff. “They serve as a sort of ‘bat signal’ to those who are ‘in the know.'”

The IYKYK Icons collection features graphics depicting the various identities within the LGBTQ community.

The IYKYK Icon collection will be available by Memorial Day weekend at Soundoff’s website and will soon be sold in-store at Men’s Room, 3343 N. Halsted St.

The collection will eventually grow to include more identities within the LGBTQ community and customizable snapback hats, according to Soundoff.

“We’re very excited to expand our partnership with this fun and meaningful line,” said Allan O’Brien, managing partner and owner of Men’s Room. “Pairing with a Chicago-based LGBTQ-owned business allows us to ensure we are keeping true to our goal of offering products from local family-owned businesses.”

Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.

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