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How Gen-Z Changed the Fashion Industry

The gender binary is out. Genderless fashion is in.

Credit: Shutterstock

As Gen-Z continues to challenge social norms regarding gender identity and expression, the line between men’s and women’s wear gets blurrier. Fashion has always been about breaking stereotypes, with the rise of genderless clothing facilitated by Gen Z’s rejection of the gender binary.

Compared to older generations, Gen-Z is the leader in recognizing and supporting those who use gender-neutral pronouns. In fact, a 2018 study conducted by Pew Research Center showed that 35% of Gen-Z respondents know someone who uses gender-neutral pronouns, compared to 25% of Millennials and 16% of Gen-Xers. Moreover, 59% believe that forms or online profiles should have options other than “man” or “woman”, with only 50% of Millennials and 40% of Gen Xers agreeing (Parker).

What is Genderless Fashion?

Genderless fashion is just what it sounds like—clothes made for everyone, regardless of gender identity. As a form of self-expression, clothing is one of the most prominent ways to assign gender. Thus, with Gen-Z’s rejection of the gender binary, fashion companies are adapting to suit our wants.

Our goal is to re-create an aesthetic, linked to physicality, which respects the features of both sexes, annulling the notion of gender itself.”

Andrea Masato and Gianluca Ferracin, EDITHMARCEL

Who is doing it?

Perhaps most prominently, Gucci released its first genderless division entitled Gucci Mx in Fall/Winter 2020, designed by Alessandro Michele.

Product images of Gucci Mx collection, showing their gender neutrality
Credit: Gucci Official Website

The collection features ready-to-wear items along with accessories and shoes. Also, it will continue to be updated with new products each season.

“Gucci’s collections set out to deconstruct preconceived binaries and question how these concepts relate to our bodies. Celebrating self-expression in the name of all gender equality, the House presents MX.”

Gucci, Official Website Statement

Affordable Genderless Clothing

There are also many options for those unable to afford Gucci! From dresses to swimwear, genderless fashion is on the rise. And, with such high demand, it is no surprise how many brands are joining the trend.

the official logo of TomboyX clothing company

TomboyX was co-founded by Fran Dunaway and her wife, Naomi Gonzalez. The creators share a dedication to empowering the LGBTQ+ community by creating underwear that anybody could feel comfortable wearing.

WILDFANG attempts to rethink gender norms in fashion. By embracing the masculine, feminine, and all-in-between, they challenge outdated fashion ideals about the gender binary.

official logo of WILDFANG genderless clothing company
official logo of Human Nation genderless clothing brand

Human Nation is a collection by the House of LR&C that promotes inclusivity. Built to redefine the way the fashion industry works, the House works to create positive change.

Rob Smith founded The Phluid Project in 2018, inspired by his Native American heritage. Correspondingly, he works to advance fashion by honoring the Two Spirit leaders in his culture.

official logo of the Phluid Project genderless clothing company

As the most accepting generation, Gen Z enabled these brands to flourish. Through discussion of the gender binary and its issues, Gen Z allows for flexibility within the fashion industry. Further, as boundaries continue to be pushed, we can expect more ways to challenge and innovate gender expression.

With all these options (plus many more!), it is the easiest it has ever been to find clothes you feel comfortable wearing. There isn’t a “right” or “wrong” way to dress, so you do you!

Written By

hi! i'm nic (she/they) and i am a third year english lit major at the university of san francisco! i enjoy writing about queer topics and social issues and really appreciate you reading my articles :)

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