The Amplification Of The Concept Of Gender In Fashion


Innovative businesses now pay attention to a public in lack of products that follow their way of thinking gender related topics

by Eduardo Biz cover image Chloe Aftel (San Francisco Magazine) translated by José Osmar

The big trend factory that is now fashion industry is making people tired. Customers don’t have the time to follow what’s new, and creators can’t generate new ideas in such short spans of time. People get much more interested in classic pieces of clothing and in a form of aesthetic neutrality, capable of migrating several seasons. At the same time, an inversion of the masculine and feminine codes is happening in fashion, breaking predefined norms and dated notions of genre. The question is not about the appropriation of feminine or masculine wardrobes anymore, but about a neutral fashion, free from stereotypes, which proposes some kind of illusory game interpreted by some as unissex.

British stylist Richard Nicoll is known by his atemporal and classic fashion.
British stylist Richard Nicoll is known by his atemporal and classic fashion.

These products – not only clothes – disconnect the concept of unissex from the idea of “basic”, and show design solutions that work independently of genre.

Unissex design in the cosmetics brand Fisix.
Unissex design in the cosmetics brand Fisix.
Enter Pronoun is a unissex make up line made for “times when audacity, non-conformity and acceptance interlace”.
Enter Pronoun is a unissex make up line made for “times when audacity, non-conformity and acceptance interlace”.

Actress Tilda Swinton is an example of public figure that adopts this spirit. Her androgynous style is notorious by the elegance and minimalism of it, what doesn’t stop her from sporting gorgeous dresses, traditionally feminine. Tilda crumples the gender expectations of her in a tiny paper ball and throw them right into the trash can.

The inevitable adaptation of the fashion market

New shapes of business start to pop up everywhere in the world, providing options for the share of customers in lack of brands that follow their ideas about gender. That’s the case of american brand Wildfang, self proclaimed world’s first store for the tomboy public. Above any capitalist interest in exploring this niche, recognition of this public existence is a reason more than enough to celebrate, and surely a good omen for times to come.


Companies that offer custom pieces for people who think gender in a different way are gettin space and visibility in the fashion industry, and contributing to the redefinition of identity parameters. Men’s tailoring brand Bindle & Keep are now adapting their collections to feminine models, thanks to a little hint from Rachel Tutera. She says when she first wore boy’s clothing as a teen, she saw a more authentic version of herself. But being forced to buy in men’s department brought her insecurity: besides the humiliating experience, nothing fit well her proportions. Willing to change this situation, she convinced Bindle and Keep owners they needed to pay attention to this powerful customer niche forgot by the market.

2012, Yves Saint Laurent chose model Saskia de Brauw to star his men’s collection campaign.

Even if the destruction of gender concept is a new, distant question to society in general, vanguard position of fashion finds expression in media.

In 2010 Ford Models added Casey Lecklord as part of its male casting. Even though he does a feminine part in the photos, the model represents a huge progress to the permeabilization of gender frontiers.


In 2014’s Barneys New York summer campaign, 17 transgender models were photographed by foram clicados por Bruce Weber. In the photos, they were interacting with their families and pets. From that collection, 10% of the revenue was donated to National Center for Transgender Equality, as well for New York’s LGBT Community Center.


In 2014, Conchita Wurst spiked through every weirdness and prejudice and won Eurovision Song Contest, an European mainstream talent show. Her feminine shape associated with a beard shocked the public at first, but her victory in Eurovision reflected the acceptance of Conchita’s gender mixing.

Yanis Marshall, Arnaud & Mehdi are a trio of dancers that made to the finals of the 2014 edition of the show Britain’s Got Talent. Wearing high heels, they masterfully appropriated – and very fairly – choreographies traditionally performed by women.

2014, the trans year

Gender was never before such a debated and studied topic. For the first time in history, a transgender person was in Time’s magazine cover in june 2014: actress Laverne Cox, famous for her role in the series Orange Is The New Black. Her perfect acting also made her the first transgender person nominated to an Emmy Award.

Time Laverne Cox

Bosnian Andrej Pejic is recognized all around the world for walking the male and female runways, and is one of the most important representatives of androgynous fashion.

Be it unissex, no-gender, or gender blender, definition is only protocol. Judgemental thoughts of the huge majority are diminishing, as contemporary culture recognizes the urgency of a new consciousness.

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