FashionInterviewsLife & Style

Designer Pierre-Yves Monnerville chats about Unapologaytic brand and new clothing line

Recently, I had a chat with London-based designer Pierre-Yves Monnerville. Pierre is the founder of Unapologaytic, a T-shirt brand that focuses on empowering gay, bisexual and Trans men with cheeky designs. This Spring/Summer, he will be launching Monnerville, a brand focusing on premium, sustainable athleisure.

Kyle Jackson: How did you get started in fashion? Can you give us a bit about your background?

Pierre-Yves Monnerville: I got into fashion in a very roundabout way. I was brought up by a seamstress. At age 7, I started dressing up princess Leia, one of the action figures my brother and I collected. I wanted to be a fashion designer for a couple of years after that until two things happened. 

First, I thought fashion was only about designing expensive ball gowns like I saw on TV and I didn’t see myself doing that. The second is even more important — I draw like a 2 year-old, which is a bit of a bummer, really. To top it all off, my parents weren’t too keen on paying for fashion design studies. I discovered photography during my teens, however, and thought that would be a nice compromise.

About 10 years ago, I went back to University to study product design. That literally changed my life. First of all, it changed the way I looked at objects forever. Now I always wonder how and why things are made the way they are. It’s a very big thing for me because my DIY abilities are limited to assembling flat pack furniture. 

Pierre-Yves Monnerville

The other big change was that I experienced a confidence boost as I proved to myself I had the stamina to study for 7 years whilst working full time. Finally, those studies definitely helped me understand how creativity works.

The curriculum strongly emphasised sustainability, so my final project was a shower timer. I chose to use hemp plastic instead of the ‘regular’ one. While researching hemp, I read about the hundred different uses for it including fabric. 

Oddly enough this is what made me decide to launch a fashion brand. What’s even weirder is I’ve never used hemp fabric yet.

KJ: Who do you primarily design clothing for?

PYM: Primarily 30+ urban men, hopefully very keen to help tackle environmental and civil issues. They are comfortable in their own skin, manage their mental health and emotions the best way they can. They’re the solution, not the problem. Lovers, not fighters.

KJ: Can you talk a bit about Unapologaytic, what it is and how it got started?

PYM: I have a gay T-shirt brand called Unapologaytic. I started the business because I wanted to offer funny and cheeky yet empowering T-shirts for Bi, Gay and Trans men. The brand also pays tribute to Gay culture and history. 

It’s very important for me to promote positive messages because, as a Back gay man, I grew up alongside some friends and family members who were deeply ashamed of being Black. The same feelings of shame were ingrained in me growing up gay.

There again, we only use organic cotton, recycled polyester and vegan inks. The T-shirts are even made with renewable energy under the supervision of the FairWear Foundation. They ensure that workers are well paid, can organise into unions, etc. 

A few years ago, they trained women to be supervisors in Indian factories and in parallel, trained men to work under female supervision. I’m very proud of that initiative.

KJ: You are launching your newest line, Monnerville, in Spring/Summer of this year. What was the inspiration behind the creation of this clothing line?

PYM: The unfathomable change we’re experiencing led me to want to design ‘Basics for the new normal’ which will be premium, sustainable athleisure. The reason I’m focusing on basics is because I believe we all need to consume less, but much better quality. 

In my opinion, the best way to achieve that is to make clothes that you won’t mind wearing time and time again. Smart and comfortable enough to work from home in, yet stylish enough for a night at your favourite bar. 

We only use organic cotton or recycled materials and the clothes are made in the UK. We also produce small runs in order to avoid wastage.

KJ: What will Monnerville offer? Will there be any Big and Tall/Plus size options?

PYM: The launch garment is called Urban Jersey. Jersey because it’s very much inspired by rugby and football (soccer) jerseys. Urban because this is no workout attire. 

The idea is to combine functionality and sleek minimalist design for a confidence boosting fit. There will definitely be XL sizes available at launch. Producing small runs enables us to be a lot more flexible so if there’s demand, I’m more than happy to offer XXL sizes or even a looser fit as well.

KJ: Where can people shop your products or keep up with what’s happening with Monnerville?

PYM: You can find Unapologaytic T-shirts on and check out to be kept in the loop for launch.

You can also have a look at my photography on

Kyle Jackson

Kyle Jackson (He/Him) is Senior Staff Writer at Gray Jones Media, and additionally works as a writer, editor and theatre artist/actor. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, he studied at Dillard University, received a BA in Theatre from Morgan State University, an MS in Arts Administration from Drexel University, and completed the British American Drama Academy’s Midsummer in Oxford Programme in 2017. Having lived in Baltimore, the Washington, DC area, Philadelphia and New York City, he now resides and works in London, United Kingdom.