how fashion is quickly becoming genderless

Illustration+by+Leilani+Biere

Illustration by Leilani Biere

The idea of clothes being genderless or unisex is not relatively new, but it sure is more prominent than it once was. It can be seen anywhere from the runways of fashion week to the streets of Ohio. With more and more individuals wanting to experiment with their style, genderless fashion is rapidly making its way into all aspects of the fashion industry, and it’s not about to slow down any time soon.

The future of fashion is genderless clothing, and major designers and brands are already taking part in this influential movement. Helmut Lang ditched the menswear and womenswear labels and debuted their unisex Spring/Summer 2022 collection in September. The collection redefines the need for the men’s suit jacket, and the reinventions of the classic silhouette prove the changed sentiments towards gender-confined fashion. Eckhaus Latta also showcased their take on gender nonconformity during their Spring/Summer 2022 Ready-to-Wear fashion show by dressing the male models in typical female garments. Sheer organza blouses, fitted cutout tops and short knitted dresses were worn by the men to depict how fashion exists as a medium for artistic expression and should not be restricted to only two categories.

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A-list stars are no exception when it comes to challenging societal standards, especially in the world of fashion. Celebrities like Harry Styles and Jaden Smith have broken traditional gender norms by choosing to wear outside what has been deemed by society as men’s clothing and women’s clothing. Last December, Harry Styles appeared on the cover of Vogue in an elegant ball gown. His cover gained tons of attraction, both positive and negative, but he was able to blur the lines between men’s and women’s fashion. Jaden Smith is another A-lister who is unapologetic about what he wears. In 2016, Jaden starred in Louis Vuitton’s women’s spring campaign while sporting a black kilt. The campaign provoked the conversation of whether the question of gender and dress enters an entirely different dimension. By breaking the “rules” of fashion, Harry Styles and Jaden Smith were able to show the world that wearing feminine clothing does not take away from a man’s masculinity.

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It is no surprise that Generation Z is leading the genderless fashion movement, with 56% of Generation Z consumers shopping outside their assigned gendered area. Clothing stores are realizing their powerful impact and are adapting to what is now being desired by consumers. Some retail stores have started de-gendering their floor spaces by organizing products by brand or color versus sex. Retail giants like Zara and H&M have even come out with their own unisex collections. Online websites such as Ssense and Farfetch feature the same products in both their men’s and women’s tabs, allowing consumers to freely shop between the two. Individuals no longer want to feel like their choices are limited when they are shopping. They want to feel as if they could wear any piece of clothing in a store regardless of what the label says. The fact that brands are finally embracing the change that is needed to further revolutionize genderless fashion is a step in the right direction.

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Being able to influence and teach the generations to come that they do not have to be confined to just men’s or women’s clothing is a crucial task at hand. Going against what society says you should wear should be applauded and praised because that is where the future of fashion is headed.

Support Student MediaHi, I’m Grace Avery, the Editor In Chief of A Magazine. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.