The evolution of gender-neutral fashion
Gender-neutral fashion is a fashion movement that challenges traditional gender stereotypes in clothing and accessories. Rather than defining style by gender, gender-neutral fashion seeks to create space for the expression of individuality and freedom of choice, regardless of gender.
Let's take a look at the origins of gender-neutral fashion, as well as the key figures that stand at its foundation and support the concept.
The roots of gender-neutral fashion can be traced back through history, but it has gained greater recognition in recent decades. In the late 1960s, during the boom of the civil rights movement and feminism, the first attempts to break down gender barriers in fashion began to emerge. The hippie era brought loose silhouettes, flannel shirts, straight-cut jeans, and T-shirts that became symbols of gender-neutral clothing.
However, the true gender-neutral movement has become more popular in recent decades, especially in light of the growing interest in different gender identities and the freedom of personal expression regardless of gender.
There are many designers who are actively engaged in creating gender-neutral clothing and promoting freedom of expression through fashion. Let's take a look at a few famous examples of such designers:
And, of course, the first one I will highlight is Yohji Yamamoto, a Japanese designer known for his unique and androgynous style, in which he combines elements of classic and contemporary fashion, playing with volumes, proportions and textures. Where the boundaries between feminine and masculine merge. He often uses neutral colors and silhouettes without obvious gender associations. Yamamoto often experiments with unconventional shapes and details, emphasizing an aesthetic of irregularity and understatement.
Yohji Yamamoto's main competitor and friend is Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo. She is the founder and creative director of Comme des Garçons, which is also known for its experimental and innovative approach to fashion. Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto are considered pioneers of gender-neutral clothing and espouse the concept of limitless and free expression through fashion. Although they compete with each other on the fashion runways and in the industry, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto also have a mutual respect and friendship. Their similar views on fashion and desire for innovation unite them in their desire to create bold and gender-neutral clothing.
Another famous designer who actively supports gender-neutral fashion is Alessandro Michele, former creative director of the Gucci brand. He has introduced elements into his collections that allow clothes to be worn without reference to gender. In his work, you can see the use of pink, usually associated with femininity, in men's outfits, as well as experimentation with styles and details that blur the boundaries between traditional gender roles.
In addition to well-known designers, there are also many independent brands that focus on gender-neutral fashion. They create unique and innovative collections that deviate from traditional gender stereotypes and offer a freer and more inclusive view of fashion.
For example, Rad Hourani is a Canadian designer who is known for his gender-neutral collections. He creates clothes that can be worn by both men and women, playing with minimalist shapes and lines. His work is characterized by strict silhouettes and a lack of obvious signs of belonging to a particular gender.
Palomo Spain is a Spanish brand founded by Alejandro Gómez Palomo, who is known for his gender-neutral and spectacular collections. He creates clothing that explores boundaries and transcends stereotypes about male and female fashion.
Telfar Clemens is an American designer who offers gender-neutral versions of his popular Shopping Bag. His brand calls for collectivity and inclusivity through unisex designs.
Eckhaus Latta is a fashion brand founded by Michael Eckhaus and Zoe Latta. Their collections embody a gender-neutral approach, offering loose silhouettes and the use of neutral colors to create versatility and push the boundaries of gender.
No Sesso is a brand founded by Pierre David and Arnosha Moultrie-Gipps. They are known for their gender-neutral collections that play with volumes and promote inclusion and equality.
Also, I want to highlight some more bright and talented designers who work in the direction of gender-neutral fashion:
Alessandro Trincone, Harris Reed, Xander Zhou, Charles Jeffrey, Rick Owens.
These designers represent just a small part of the creative community that strives to create gender-neutral fashion. They each have their own unique style and approach, but what they have in common is their desire to break down boundaries and acknowledge different gender identities.
Along with fashion shows, advertising campaigns have become a strong tool for promoting gender-neutral fashion.
One such example is Calvin Klein's "CK One" perfume campaign, which was launched as early as 1994.
The CK One perfume ad was innovative for its time. It had a fresh and youthful approach, emphasizing gender neutrality. The ads featured young men and women, often together, often in scenes of close contact and sometimes wearing clothes together.
The CK One campaign caused a furor because it broke traditional gender stereotypes in perfume advertising. It appealed to the younger generation and emphasized equality and freedom of expression. The advertisement became a symbol of the 90's and had a significant impact on the fashion and advertising industry.
It is important to note that gender-neutral advertising became especially relevant and visible in the 90s, when a broader discussion of gender and equality began.
In conclusion, I would like to point out that gender-neutral fashion is not only a stylish expression but also a force for changing ideas about fashion, gender, and self-expression. It makes an important contribution to a more equal and inclusive world, where everyone has the right to freedom of expression and style choice, regardless of their gender identity.
Furthermore, gender-neutral fashion affects the very concept of beauty and its perception in society. It breaks down beauty standards based on rigid gender divisions and allows people to abandon restrictions and seek their own definition of attractiveness.
Ultimately, gender-neutral fashion encourages and inspires people to find their own style and express their individuality. It allows everyone to feel comfortable and confident in their clothing, regardless of prescribed gender restrictions. It creates a more diverse and inclusive society where everyone can be accepted and respected for who he, she or they are.
By Anna Volos