The post-gender generation is in full swing and now fashion labels and retailers are beginning to tap into this societal shift. As we’ve noted over the past 10 years, youth culture today continues to shift away from the strong lines between what is meant for males and what is meant for females towards a more post-gender society. We see this in our upcoming 15th Annual Spring Youth Culture Study 2015 more so than ever in various categories ranging from video games to sports to fashion.
So when Selfridges announced the launch of their gender-neutral retail initiative called Agender, we knew it was something on target. What’s interesting is all of the hype it’s been getting and the various questioning that many other retailers have towards this idea.
Unfortunately for designer fashion, it often takes being in a runway collection before they get it, instead of taking a look at youth culture directly and trends that are coming from the people themselves. Such is the case this time around again when Gucci’s collection in Milan explored the idea of gender-neutrality with mix and match styling on girl and guy models.
Guys in florals (which you also see in streetwear, by the way), puffed blouses and even skirts were a part of the show, whereas girl models sported tailored suits, fedoras, and male-inspired footwear. Saint Laurent has also followed suit.
But the biggest news of the month is the announced from Selfridges about changing up their retail experience. On March 12, 2015, they will have a new area called Agender will start at the Oxford Street location covering 3 floors. This will follow in their retail locations in Birmingham and Manchester, and most importantly, online.
The idea, as they explain, it to allow buyers the interaction and exploration of fashion that lies between what is masculine or feminine. The brands within the Agender area will be more post-gender, including Bodymap, Nicopanda, Undergound, Comme des Garcons, and Gareth Push among others, allowing people to select freely without feeling they are supposed to buy one of the other.
“For us, Agender is not about harnessing a trend but rather tapping into a mind-set and acknowledging and responding to a cultural shift that is happening now,” says Selfridges’ creative director, Linda Hewson. “The project will act as a test bed for experimentation around ideas of gender – both to allow our shoppers to approach the experience without preconceptions, and for us as retailers to move the way we shop fashion forward.”
The shopping experience will also include experiential components such as music, film, photography, and art.
Overall, the Agender campaign will surely be closely watched, especially among retailers. But from looking at where things are headed from the youth marketplace itself, one could see this coming a mile away.
For more information about our 15th Annual Spring Youth Culture Study 2015, please email firstname.lastname@example.org; (323) 630-4000.