You’ve probably noticed that, within our society, pink is for girls and blue is for boys. But as we all know, fashion doesn’t always follow societal norms, which leaves a huge white space in the industry. Clothing is so much more than a way to cover our bodies, it’s how we express ourselves; it’s how we come alive. “Unisex,” the fashion world’s symbol for inclusion and diversity, is currently more mainstream than ever, giving people the freedom to express themselves fully, without having to consider constrictive gender norms. This is thanks to brands casting both male and female models for their campaigns, and thanks to designers hiring a broader spectrum of genders for their fashion shows. In the past few years, the industry’s most forward thinking fashion brands have become eager to attract a new, young audience which views gender with more fluidity than generations prior. The fashion industry knows that consumers are ready for this shift, and no one is more ready than Gen Z.
Typically, genderless garments are either oversized and formless or extremely formfitting. Yet, women have now worn traditional menswear pieces for so long that those pieces can no longer be referred to solely as menswear. New and existing brands are making strides to become more inclusive, and some have made real progress.
One of my favorite brands, Gucci, is known for paving the way towards gender-inclusivity in fashion. Gucci’s fashion shows consistently have female models wearing clothes from the men’s collections and vice versa. The brand has often been praised as a leading example of a label ditching the traditional, single gender collections, and combining men’s and women’s shows. Recently, Harry Styles was on the cover of Vogue, and appeared throughout the magazine wearing all gender nonconforming outfits designed by Gucci. This immediately sparked passionate conversations around masculinity and gendered dressing. When I saw the cover, my jaw dropped. I was OBSESSED. I thought the image beautifully represented the growing exploration of gender-fluidity and non-binary dressing taking place. In fashion, we have very optimistic views of the future. I think people are starting to realize that these constricting “norms” don’t actually have to be normal. It’s time to embrace the fact that fashion’s future is gender-neutral. So next time you’re reaching into your closet for an outfit, don’t let specific colors or styles set you back. Be YOU.