Jaden Smith is the new face of Louis Vuitton’s womenswear campaign. A couple of months ago, he made headlines with a decision to model a womenswear collection for Louis Vuitton and be the face for their womenswear. “I don’t see man clothes and woman clothes,” the 17-year-old told British GQ Style. “I just see scared people and comfortable people.” And remember also the AG Ad Campaign, featuring Daria Werbowy for the men’s jeans campaign.
For a growing number of shoppers, and especially consumers as young as Jaden, the distinction between clothing for men and for women is blurring.
Of course, fashion has had such moments before. The past few decades saw a range of unisex and gender-reversing fashion design.
But even if the unisex trend has existed, it has never had a sense of permanence. After all, there are stores for women and stores for men, and floors in department stores devoted to one sex or the other.
Times, however, have changed, and our stores will have to adjust.
With growing acknowledgment about the spectrum of gender norms, introduced in part thanks to attention to celebrities such as Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox, retail giants should and are rethinking how they market clothes.
Zara recently introduced “ungendered,” a collection of subtly colored denim T-shirts and hoodies. Ellen DeGeneres has worked with GapKids to develop a line of non-girly clothes.
As with other things that come in and out of vogue, some of the gender-bending designs we are seeing today will no doubt be transitory. That’s the nature of fashion. Still, the acceptance of nontraditional gender norms in clothing is also about respect. And that is something that never goes out of style. Stores and retailers would be wise to adjust.
And there is more: The fashion industry is in crisis at the moment. Designers far and wide are talking of a broken system, while many labels – including Burberry, Gucci, Vetements and Public School – have recently announced that they’ll be merging their men’s and women’s collections together, in spite of the traditional calendar that keeps them separate.
Here are some options for you to buy unisex, or – in a more trendy update: genderless – denim:
American Apparel jeans, American Apparel denim jacket (the oversized fit is a must have this season!), Rag & Bone/Jean, and then, of course, the timeless Levi’s 501 jeans, that probably started it all, even if – very likely – unconsciously! 😉