Gender is a social constraint that was forced on us since our birth, and it is a social construct that we all need to move away from. Unlike what the global North wants you to believe, gender is not a binary, but rather it is a spectrum that we all inhabit. This is why genderless fashion is gaining traction. Millennials and Gen Z are known to be the queerest generation ever, and they are the ones who are bringing about change to the fashion industry.
We live in a world that is constantly evolving, and the fashion industry is one of the fastest involving ones. One of the greatest changes is the emergence of genderless or gender-neutral fashion. This change is also heightened because we as a society crave inclusivity and visibility. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn some of the things you need to know about genderless fashion.
What is it?
Gender-neutral fashion may seem like a new trend, but it has been with us since the early 1960s. It was known back then as unisex clothing (here, this is pure semantics, the idea remains the same). Unisex clothing emerged as women sought to wear more practical and comfortable clothing that was not as restricting as traditional women’s clothes. This was when women began to wear pants, an item of clothing that was previously reserved for their male counterparts.
This being said, unisex clothing is not the same as the genderless fashion as we know it today, but it could be granted the status of antecessor of the gender-neutral fashion trend. During the 60s, unisex clothing was a different way of saying masculine women’s clothes. We admit that this created more liberties for women, but the restriction of men’s fashion didn’t loosen with the advent of unisex clothes.
The trend of unisex clothes didn’t include and consider minorities like genderqueer, non-binary, and people outside the binary gender norm. This is where gender-neutral fashion differs from its predecessor. Now, we are seeing a new trend where people are wearing ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ items no matter their gender identity. Thanks to this, people can express themselves freely without being restricted by conservative ideas of gender.
Has the fashion industry embraced gender-neutral clothing?
The British Fashion Council, in April 2020, announced that the London fashion week would be gender neutral for the next year, and this was considered to be a big news deal in the fashion industry. This was also gobsmacking news as London is considered one of the world’s fashion capitals. We all hope that this innovative way to showcase fashion will set an example and will shape the way how we view the rest of the world.
A lot of businesses have embraced Fashionable Week as a platform to influence society, culture, and identity. Designers can share their stories and journey through their collection, which can reach a global audience. According to the Chief Executive Officer of the British Council, Caroline Rush, it is essential for us to look at opportunities to change, be innovative and collaborate in the future with people from all walks of life.
So, the fashion industry is embracing gender-neutral fashion, but we still have a long way to go before this becomes the norm and people don’t raise an eyebrow or winch when they see a male-presenting person in a dress. Now the fashion industry focuses on creativity and storytelling rather than sticking to one gender for designers to show their designers.
What does it hold for the future?
Fashion experts and connoisseurs are predicting that gendering clothes will soon be a thing of the past. Over the past few years, we have seen a couple of male celebrities in dresses on the cover of magazines, and this is a telltale sign of progress (even though it is relatively slow). There are more gender-neutral brands now than ever, and this is likely due to high fashion events with their shift to more gender-neutral models and artists.
Though booming in the fashion industry, most retail stores still seem reticent to introduce their own gender-neutral collections or sell them at all. Though the world of high fashion is definitely making a change and shift, existing retails are still not moving in the same past, and this is where lies the crux of the issue. In the near future, we expect to see more genderless clothes and artists at fashion shows and hope this push the envelope.
Fashion is what you make of it, and it is something you should have fun with. So dress however you want as long as you are comfortable with it. Sound off in the comments section below and tell us what you want to read next and if you want to read more about genderless fashion. I would like to end this post with a quote from drag loyalty and icon Sasha Velour:
“Gender is a Construct. Tear it apart.”