Reanna "Missconstrued" Diehl Creates "Chicks-For-Gays" Fashion Parodying Chick-Fil-A Controversy
Tage Michael Photography
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The recent controversy surrounding Chick-Fil-A and its president's anti-gay leanings have inspired plenty of sturm und drang both in the media and online over the past couple months, as well as a slew of protests, counter-protests, boycotts and even some amusing YouTube videos.
Its also inspired one downtown Phoenix fashion designer to conjure up a new t-shirt series for women that riffs on the hullabaloo and the fast food restaurant chain that instigated it. Reanna Diehl (a.k.a. Miss Missconstrued) recently printed up a batch of tank tops emblazoned with the phrase "Chicks-for-Gays" that parodies the restaurant's logo.
And according to the designer, who also runs Missconstrued Boutique on Fifth Street near Roosevelt Row, the shirts have been selling fast.
Diehl came up with the design earlier this month and printed up 70 tank tops last week. Since then, she says, more than half of that initial batch has been sold.
"I had to make them quickly before someone [else] took the idea. Literally, it was a five-day turn around," she says. "[We] got it done in one night with the help of friends."
Diehl was inspired to create the sleeveless shirts featuring the parody after a cousin suggested she design "something rad" based upon the controversy. Her boyfriend helped coin the phrase "Chicks-For-Gays." (Although no artists have created any shirts with the exact same turn-of-phrase as Diehl, an Atlanta-based company Tees With 'Tude is currently selling clothing and accessories that can be customized with the phrase "Chick-fil-Gay.")
"A large portion of our customers and artists are, in fact, from the gay community, so my boyfriend said 'Chicks-For-Gays,' when we were talking and that was it," she says.
Tage Michael Photography
Based on her sales of thus far, Diehl plans on whipping up more tanks and shirts to sell, as well as expanding the "Chicks-For-Gays" into a bigger clothing line and incorporating the design into jewelry and other items.
"It was shot [in the dark] and then we put [the shirts] out into the public. We have a ton of support...I get emails and messages daily," she says.
Thankfully, Diehl adds, no one from Chick-Fil-A's corporate headquarters in Georgia has sent a "cease and desist" to her inbox claiming trademark infringement.
"I talked to a few attorneys who said that's not really an issue since I created my own artwork and there is no brand confusion. I sell and design clothing and art. They sell chicken sandwiches," she says. "And then you have the freedom of speech and parody rights. Either way I'm not competing against them. I'm simply turning something that was hurtful into something uplifting."