Forward-thinking fashion houses know gender is a spectrum.
Spanish fashion giant Zara has launched a genderless section on its e-commerce site. Why?
Because Generation Z (people aged six to 21) – and most forward-thinking people – know gender is a spectrum.
Not man and women, but male, female and everything in between, around, and other.
Zara’s new “Ungendered” category is online-only – because digital, duh – and includes a 16-piece collection including jeans, tank tops, shorts, sweatshirts, shirts and jumpers.
No Action Man khakis, or Barbie pinks here – everything is black, white, navy, or grey – which is a bit of a shame (obviously both sexes are permitted to wear any colour), but you can see the practicality of stocking simple cuts and neutral shades.
If successful, we wouldn’t be surprised if genderless sections make there way into Zara’s flagship stores sometime soon.
While rolemodels like Tilda Swinton and David Bowie never appeared to be bound by the expectations of their sex, gender blending that used to stand out, is now very much the norm.
And, as gender fluidity is increasingly accepted by the media and the masses forward-thinking fashion companies have taken note.
So far in 2016, Urban Decay has already announced gender fluid model Ruby Rose as its new ambassador; transgender model Ben Melzer has posed on the cover of Men’s Health Magazine; while transgender model Andreja Pejic has graced the cover of Marie Claire.
Fashion brands themselves are also keen to diversify: H&M, not only put Pejic on its catwalk for Paris Fashion Week, but has appointed Caitlyn Jenner as the face of H&M Sport.
Where men’s and women’s collections were once kept strictly separate in the capital – displayed at the female-fashion dominated London Fashion Week and the male-centric London Collections: Men – brands like Burberry and Tom Ford are defying tradition and choosing to showcase their collections at the same shows.
Campaigns are becoming more androgynous, too: It’s been a long time since anyone batted an eyelid at the suits, skirts, dresses or tunics that appear on the runway on all sorts of models. This year Jaden Smith even starred in Louis Vuitton’s latest womenswear ad.
Our attitudes to gender changed a long time ago, and clever fashion houses are catching up.
Kudos to Zara for leading the charge.
Kitty Knowles is a Senior Features Writer at The Memo. Kitty previously worked as an online journalist for GQ. She can be found tweeting @KittyGKnowles.