We Need to Talk About Zara
So last month the fashion retailer Zara announced its new genderless clothing line. The gender-neutral line is called Ungendered and its a section with 16 items ranging from t-shirts, to denim to sweatshirts. Now I recently learned that genderless clothing isn’t new to this Spanish power-house of fashion. They released unisex apparel in past seasons, but have never released a specific line of it. While Zara isn’t the first retailer to break out gender neutral clothing, it is still groundbreaking move. They are another major fashion retailer joining the gender fluid movement and reinforcing the notion that the line between male and female codes is clearly becoming increasingly blurred in the industry.
As I’ve said before in my blog, gender bending isn’t a trend. It’s a movement. Unisex clothing allows people to break the expectations of dressing like their assigned gender. It also doesn’t force people to choose to dress feminine or masculine. Genderless clothing gives everyone an opportunity to express themselves freely, a factor that is what makes fashion so important. The clothing is modeled by both male and female models, showcasing how versatile the pieces are when not being controlled by the gender binary.
I believe that unisex clothing is going to continue to make its way into mainstream fashion. For the record, I don’t think that strictly men’s and women’s fashion is going to be obliterated from the universe or anything, but I do believe there will be more gender neutral options integrated into what we now see in department stores and fashion retailers. Because we can’t forget, that everyone should have the freedom to wear what they want, and that includes traditional gendered clothing. We ALL deserve options and I love that mainstream fashion is catching onto that. Recently, Target announced that it is no longer going to have gender based signage and Selfridges released Agender, a unisex shopping experience. It’s not the fastest growing movement the world has seen, but with all of these changes, the momentum is picking up.
I’m very curious to see how Zara’s Ungendered line sells. It could either be a flop or a hit and with unisex clothing being slightly new to the market, it’s pretty hard to tell. I think the best way to know is by asking millenials. If you were looking for a sweatshirt would you go to the genderless section or would that weird you out? If it fit right and looked good it shouldn’t matter right? That’s what I would think but not everyone has the same views as a 20 something college kid living in Los Angeles. Another way to tell people’s attitudes on genderless clothing is to see if other stores jump on the bandwagon depending on Zara’s success. I guess only time will tell and I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes. Are you?