GNAT, by Gnat Rosa Madrid, provides the babes of the world with glittering femme-centric fetish and bondage gear. Made for queer femmes by queer femmes, GNAT gear will decorate your gorgeous, bodacious body so that you can own your sexuality and pleasure... en harness. GNAT promotes safe, exciting, and consensual sex, BDSM, body positivity, gender fluidity, trans liberation, and POC femme supremacy
I studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and completed my BFA in 2013. During my time at SAIC, I fully engaged in multiple artistic practices that enabled me to infuse my collections with a variety of techniques and theoretical content. Printmaking, laser cutting and digital fabrication, screen printing, accessory design, painting, sculpture and clothing construction all culminate in the GNAT Universe- and the clothing and accessories that are produced to contain every bit of my obsession with chaotic art-making and sensitive application. Sexuality and kinkiness fuse with vibrant candy + toy plastic playthings to become the multi-dimensional bags, hats, and harnesses for those hyper-individual, diverse, beautiful queer bodies!
In 2012, I began a small business endeavor: selling glittery vinyl and plastic bondage gear. I have remained dedicated to this practice throughout my time in college, and my self-established label “GNAT” is a growing success. I sell fashion harnesses, cuffs, leashes, backpacks, and bow ties to people all over the world, and I encourage you to check out my presence on Etsy.com. This practice led me to Paris, in the summer of 2012, where I interned for Bernhard Willhelm. I learned a lot while working with Bernhard, and he and I engaged in collaborations with bags and purses. I also had the pleasure of working briefly with Walter Van Bierendonck in the Spring of 2013, and he encouraged a laser-cut headpiece that was photographed with aid from the Antwerp 5. Through this contact with kindred designers, I was further encouraged to continue to expand upon my accessory and print collections.
I currently work out of a studio in Humboldt Park, in Chicago. My harnesses and fashion pieces are available online, as well as in boutiques in Chicago and NYC, and many more shops will be able to stock my collection once GNAT wholesale is ready for small businesses. I only stock at queer and/or femme owned-and-operated shops that promote body positivity and safe, exciting, consensual sex. I am a part of the queer Chicago nightlife scene, and host several parties including LQQKS, Femme's Room, FKA, IT Presents, and DURO. DURO is a queer Latinx dance party in collaboration with dj [X]P. Through Chicago nightlife, I began to gain popularity and notoriety. Now, my harnesses are unmistakeable as GNAT pieces, and folks I've never met ask me, "Is that a GNAT harness?" (to which I exclaim, "I'M GNAT!").
I'm very excited about the trajectory of my collection, and am learning every day how to be a productive businesswoman while maintaining my studio practice and creative passions.
I am throughly dedicated to creating pieces that are as durable as they are beautiful, and my background in fashion construction informs the professional production of my items.
I am a Point Scholar, Recruited member of the CFDA, SAIC's The Walk Fellowship recipient, and Critical Fierceness Grant Recipient. I live and work in Chicago, IL.