Fashion has no gender. This seems to be the major topic of conversation in the fashion industry this year. Despite what some mainstream media and fashion blogs say, we don’t think this is just the latest “trend” in fashion. Any platform that states otherwise might be ignoring that gender roles are being questioned more in fashion, than ever before.
One thing that we know is that history repeats itself, especially when it comes to fashion. This goes all the way back to the 1920’s. Coco Chanel, arguably one of the most influential fashion designers of all time, was one of the first to inspire genderless fashion when she created her iconic suits for women. Chanel made it the norm for women to wear pants during the war, which revolutionized women’s right in the fashion world for generations to come.
Fast forward to 2016. What about those who don’t identify with a gender?
For far too long, we’ve been focused on millennials being the key players in not just the retail world, but the economy as a whole. As we enter 2017, there is a new generation that cannot go unnoticed and that is Generation Z, those born between 1995 and 2015. This demographic was born in the age of social media and have now started to have an impact on spending power.
The Gen Z attitude towards sexuality and gender is far more outspoken and is the most progressive in comparison to the other generations. More than 80% of Gen Z-ers strongly believe that gender does not define a person as much as it used to and only half of Gen Z-ers identify exclusively as heterosexual.
Generation Z, without a doubt is the generation leading and influencing retailers to take a step in a new direction – genderless fashion. The idea is for men, women and ace (identifying as both genders) to shop in one store place or section, and purchase the same piece without having to question their sexuality or how they might be perceived by others.
Call it what you want; genderless, gender-neutral, gender-free, unisex or just for “everyone”. These terms are becoming more and more popular in retail as this attitude towards gender is altering the vision for both international and independent brands and retailers. This idea is going to become more prevalent in some of your favourite stores and brand campaigns.
Fashion enthusiasts are everywhere, but one of the most incredible things about fashion is that it can be an advocate for social change. We’ve hand picked some of our favourite retailers that have been quick to take action and influence “genderless” fashion. We’re looking forward to 2017 to see who will be quick enough to react. The more exciting part will be who succeeds and why…
Diesel (Gender Neutral Campaign)
Guess (His + Hers Collection)
& Other Stories (Campaign)