Xiaofan, a 7-year-old boy, decided to wear a skirt to school. This is a blue denim skirt with a circle of white edges.
Several female classmates are very supportive of him wearing skirts, "just like girls can do a lot of things that boys do." Class teachers, physical education teachers, ethics and rule of law teachers expressed clear-cut opposition, and there have also been waves of discussions on public order and good customs, family education, and gender on the Internet.
But wearing a skirt is not complicated for Xiaofan himself, just because it is "cool and beautiful." With a naive attitude and instinct, he practiced the "non-sexism" that has long been recognized by the fashion industry without a teacher. On the catwalk of the show, there are more adults wearing skirts like Xiao Fan.
▲ In October 2020, Gucci launched men's dresses.
As people become older and more familiar with conventions, the avant-garde of fashion needs to grow naturally on the imagination of children, breaking the mainstream thinking of gender dichotomy.
More and more clothing brands label themselves "genderless". But true "genderless fashion" is not naive and naive.
A group of genderless fashion "killers" are here
The term Unisex first appeared in the New York Times in 1968. It refers to a concept of natural existence that is not restricted by physical sex. The catalog of department stores during this period also added a new category of "his&her". The male and female models in the advertisement were all wearing the same style of lace flared pants and buttoned shirts.
▲ In 2015, London department store Selfridges also launched the Agender (no gender) plan.
What needs to be emphasized is that genderlessness does not mean "neutrality", "male feminization", "feminine masculinity" and "LGBTQ". For genderlessness, gender is not even a core trait that needs to be paid attention to. Various design elements with obvious gender characteristics are no longer framed in the gender selection of the past, but are shattered and reorganized, just to show themselves to a greater extent.
▲ GUCCI's short film “The future is mobile''.
Therefore, "borderlessism" may be more able to summarize the core idea of the word-to eliminate the gender border constructed by inertial concepts and stereotypes. Whether it is unisex, intersex, gender fluidity or hermaphrodite, you can find a comfortable way of expression.
"Genderless", as a conceptual awareness, continues to flow in the blood of fashion. In recent years, whether it is a veteran blue blood brand or a newborn calf, various clothing brands are like the fulcrum that moves the earth, sweeping this genderless trend.
European fashion brand VETEMENTS divides gender into three categories in the search column of its official website: male, female, and genderless, and the proportion of genderless clothing is quite high.
In 2016, the fast fashion brand ZARA launched its first genderless series and directly named the series "Unisex", which mainly includes basic items such as T-shirts, denims, sweaters, sweaters, and jogging pants.
Colors and styles are restrained and lawful, and even the most conservative people on gender topics will not find it difficult to accept.
▲ ZARA unisex series.
In China, there are also genderless clothing brands such as NOCAO, Bosie, and Unvesno that have tried their best. "Brand Planet" Zhou Yajing believes that Bosie is actually unlimited designer clothing, which is also a common feature of other brands in style.
Compared with the neutral style, the designers have added some design elements to the basic version. Their models are dressed in generous clothing, cool black sunglasses or hats that cover the eyes, with casual and lazy expressions, and their style is somewhat similar to trendy clothing.
▲ NOCAO mocked.
As the most important annual event in the fashion industry, the performance of major fashion weeks is more radical and eye-catching.
In 2018, over 5 brands displayed non-sexist clothing during the Fall/Winter New York Fashion Week, and the American Fashion Design Association had to add a "unisex" category.
Gentle and gorgeous styles such as veil covering the face are also frequently seen in the men's fashion show.
▲ Ann Demeulemeester 2019 spring and summer series.
In July 2020, GUCCI released the "Epilogue" fashion series, which "mixed" the stereotyped elements of men's and women's clothing. Women wear men's jackets and suits, men wear silk scarves and bow ties, and wear prints or silk. Embroidered fabrics for clothing.
"Mixed use" also means that these elements should no longer be prefixed with "male" or "female".
▲ GUCCI “Final Song''.
In addition to clothing, beauty is particularly active in the field of genderlessness.
Fluide, NOTO Botanics, Milk Makeup in the United States, Jecca Blac in the United Kingdom, and #HASHTAG in China are all beauty brands that focus on genderless concepts.
Among them, the official grid of Fluide attracts attention. Different from the "sexually cold" image of many genderless brands, Fluide's colors are particularly brilliant and bold. Its main products are nail polish, glitter powder, and highlighter, which carry out the core meaning of genderlessness-letting everything bear the characteristics of gender imprinting. It flows, just like its slogan:
makeup for him, her, them, everyone.
▲ Screenshot of Fluide's official website.
When consumers choose genderless fashion, more or less self-consciousness and breakthroughs in stereotypes are included in the subconscious.
CBNData's "This is the Post-95 National Tide Site" report shows that degendering is a prominent feature of post-95 fashion consumption. From women wearing oversized jackets to men’s choice of pink jackets embroidered with flowers, the gender differences between men and women are becoming increasingly blurred; Taobao’s “2019 China Fashion Trend Report” asserts, “In the next 10 years, women will become tougher and men The more refined."
In this way, "genderlessness" is not just a marketing concept. The supply side and the demand side have been connected.
When genderless hits Gen Z
Fashion is not rootless wood or water without roots. Behind genderless fashion is the innovation of gender consciousness. The nourishment in these long rivers nourishes genderless fashion and helps it to become evergreen in the fashion industry.
In the 1920s, Coco Chanel designed the first pair of casual women's trousers, allowing Parisian ladies who were constrained by skirt hoops and corsets to freely ride horses.
▲ In 1930, Hollywood actress Marlene Dietrich surprised four people in a men's evening dress.
In the 1960s, under the cultural trends of sexual liberation, sexual freedom, polysexuality, and hippies, men's clothing set off the "peacock revolution". Herring ties, tight trousers, and velvet skirts were men's peacock feathers.
In 1966, Yves SaintLaurent designed the first women's smoking suit, and then more handsome and capable suit jackets and trousers began to appear in women's wardrobes, and suits were no longer exclusive to men.
▲ Actress Bianca Jagger wore a white smoking costume to marry the lead singer of the Rolling Stones.
After the affirmative movement and cultural resistance, genderless fashion is aimed at the Z generation. They have something in common-they tend not to follow the popular trend blindly, and sometimes they rely more on intuition, first impressions and original intentions.
A specific manifestation is that young people may not pay much attention to the concept of "genderless". On the contrary, they buy genderless clothing by ignoring the label of "genderless". What attracts them more is the characteristics of the clothing itself.
Sage is a consumer of the domestic genderless clothing brand Bosie. She used to buy menswear brands because of her friendly size and neutral design. The reason for buying Bosie is similar. "The genderless concept does not attract me. Good-looking is the first. productive forces".
This is what Jonny Johansson, the founder of the Swedish luxury fashion brand ACNE, expressed:
I have seen the attitude of the new generation towards fashion, in which the tailoring, shape and characteristics of clothing are crucial, rather than seeking social recognition or following established guidelines.
▲ Vivienne Westwood 2017 autumn and winter show.
In short, what young people value is the "sense of experience." They know the details of the clothing and judge whether to continue buying from this. They are also lucky to have more alternative options. The generous men's clothing has a variety of styles. The same goes for gender costumes.
Some time ago, the Weibo big V @auutistic girl Femimi issued a call for "women need trouser pockets", which met the pain points and needs of many women. "The mobile phone was taken out of the toilet." "Men's pockets are just better than me." Lots of messenger bags"…
The small size of women’s trouser pockets is a disguised form of forcing women to buy bags, which is equivalent to an invisible pink tax. Design problems caused by gender may be corrected in the genderless field, which is also the important significance of genderless clothing as an alternative option.
Genderless clothing brands also recognize this. NOCAO focuses on the brand concept of "genderless" when promoting it, but they have found in actual communication and communication that consumers may think that it is just a kind of marketing, and the attributes of the product itself are more valued.
Therefore, while brands continue to conduct market education, they also need to introduce styles and designs that meet the needs of young people.
The "nothing" of "genderless fashion" not only eliminates the boundary of gender, but also eliminates the restrictions brought by gender as much as possible to satisfy more possibilities.
The first step in genderless clothing for men and women?
But when business incorporates concepts, the facts are not always satisfactory.
Many non-gender brands try to break the "gender dichotomy" framework, and often fall into the narrow alley of "male and female".
According to Japanese media reports, MUJI plans to achieve 50% of all clothing (excluding socks) for men and women as early as the spring of 2022.
"We don’t need too much clothing" and "abandon unnecessary decorations as the design direction." These texts explain that MUJI advocates creating a simpler and basic family wardrobe that can be worn by men, women and children, and is important for the brand. Said that the cost of R&D to the supply chain will be halved.
MUJI is just a representative brand. Similar to MUJI and ZARA, the current genderless clothing is mainly concentrated in single products such as T-shirts, shirts, suits, sweaters, and workwear. These items have been in a gender ambiguity zone since the 1920s. They are often loose-fitting. Both men's and women's clothing are of the same SKU, with only size differences.
But will this make it difficult to fit the clothes perfectly, and restrict more styles and styles?
Xiao Tong, the owner of the "NOCAO mocking" brand, answered the question of "Ai Faner". He believes this is an inevitable trend:
It is not that genderless clothing can only be made loosely, but it is an objective problem that cannot cover some single-sex exclusive categories. The difficulty at the level of gender product development is that it is more versatile.
▲ NOCAO mocked.
Therefore, brands need to consider more about how to make the same piece of clothing show a sense of design on different people under the premise of being worn by men and women.
For example, according to the evaluation of "Ideal Life Lab", Converse’s first genderless clothing series SHAPES T-shirts are designed with folds on the shoulders. Depending on the body shape, the folds may naturally fold up or be stretched, and will not be the whole garment. They are all deformed, and there are even some tailoring effects from the back.
▲ Four sizes of SHAPES.
Little Tong told "Love Faner" that in order to achieve better "male and female", the brand needs to further adjust the style of clothing and standardize the use of product fabrics, using high drape, non-tightness, and profile design to avoid men and women. Differences in physiological structure. Loose basic styles naturally become a main feature of genderless clothing:
The basic style is a singularity in the genderless clothing culture that is most acceptable to the public and can be integrated with the mainstream market. It is a carrier of the genderless clothing culture to the mainstream culture.
When genderless fashion brands have adopted the consensus of "men and women through", there is a design trend that is not difficult to detect behind them-they are more inclined to the masculine of women's clothing and the neutralization of men's clothing. It is rare to see the "feminization of men's clothing" and tradition. The feminine element in the sense.
Sage also found when visiting Taobao that the inherent feminine elements in Bosie's design have almost disappeared, and materials such as lace and organza have not been used. Even if there are prints, they are neutral prints such as "Little Prince".
Coincidentally, the European brand Vetements recently created a new high-end brand VTMNTS. The positioning of VTMNTS is genderless clothing, but it is rooted in traditional men's clothing. Female models are more inclined to look like boys. Male models' overall clothing has no innovative performance in terms of profile, printing and styling.
But Tong has a more positive view on this:
The masculinization of women's clothing and the neutralization of men's clothing are the inevitable trend of genderless style. The feminization of menswear is still a niche culture and will not become the mainstream market. On the other hand, the masculinization of women's clothing is the key proposition of a genderless culture. It carries what most people in the society pay attention to and are willing to accept, and it breaks the stereotype of how women should wear it.
In short, the current genderless fashion brands do "basic designs" and pursue the greatest common divisor. Even today, it is mainly women who buy clothing for men and women, not men.
The same is true from the data point of view. Bosie officially stated that the male to female ratio is 1:1, but according to the Bosie store staff, the actual purchase is still dominated by female customers. NOCAO's female consumers account for 65% and men account for 35%.
▲ American genderless fashion brand Re-inc.
But we still look forward to more unique versions and designs, instead of stripping off the genderless outerwear, and rudely applying it in the framework of "male and female". Genderless clothing not only "can" be worn by both men and women, it can also be bolder and even break the proposition of "can it" itself.
Some non-sexist beauty brands have not yet innovated their ideas. Their selling points are to simplify the steps, the packaging is simple and portable, the effect of fake makeup, etc., in order to attract more male customers.
In the opinion of "Le Le Chi", who has many years of makeup experience, men and women can use the same cosmetics. Since they advocate non-sexism, they should not define themselves. Whether they are heavy or light, they all want makeup. The expression of self, the proposition of "pseudo bare face" is too narrow.
▲ Milk Makeup, an American genderless beauty brand.
The ultimate goal of genderless fashion should be that fashion changes from a "gender medium" to an "externalization of the self": I am no longer a male or a female. While I don't care about gender, I am expressing myself.
The boy Xiaofan wears a skirt just because he is "cool and beautiful." This is a pure truth from the heart, but it is true.
While conforming to the trend of thought of the times, genderless clothing is also a form of beauty. We hope that the characteristics that were classified by gender in the past can truly flow in the clothing, so that people who are willing to wear genderless clothing will feel that they are beautiful as well as themselves.
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