Meet the Designers Leading the Gender-Neutral Fashion Movement
When Beyoncé shows her support for gender-neutral clothing, you know the nonbinary movement has reached a milestone. Beyoncé, an entrepreneur always in touch with the cultural zeitgeist, revealed to Elle Magazine that her athleisure brand, Ivy Park, will release its own line of gender-neutral sportswear. If Beyoncé’s endorsement wasn’t a big enough sign of the times, Merriam-Webster dictionary declared "they" as one of 2019’s words of the year. The pronoun saw a 313% increase in definition searches in the last year, indicating people are indeed curious about the world outside of the gender binary.
As always, the creatives in the fashion world have had their finger on society’s pulse for quite some time. In just the last decade, innovative designers and fashion labels big and small have been breaking so-called fashion rules with new lines for anyone looking for clothes better suited to their identities. Fashion and self-expression have long been bedfellows, so it’s only natural that the industry recognizes there is so much more to male and female clothing. The possibilities for what gender-neutral fashion can accomplish are just scratching the surface, and these brands are leading the way.
The glory of scrolling through One DNA’s online store is seeing how the designers take all the stereotypical tropes associated with romantic gendered attire and give it a modern, nonbinary twist. You’ll see romantic puffy sleeves on a satin shirt but exaggerated beyond normal convention and then dressed on a more masculine model. For someone unfamiliar with nonbinary clothing, this is a great label to start educating yourself.
In July 2019, four former and current members of the U.S. National Women’s Soccer team launched Re-inc, their own lifestyle brand and clothing line. The stars, including 2019 athlete of the year Megan Rapinoe, are news making celebs in their own right, but they’re defying the odds in more ways than one with their sportswear.
Children’s clothing was long overdue for some serious reevaluation. Why is it that all modern babies are adorned in gender-defining pink and blue hues? In 2009, Nununu’s founders, Iris Adler and Tali Milchberg of Tel Aviv, Israel, were frustrated by the limitations in their own children’s wardrobes. Their line, Nununu (which is what Israeli parents say to their misbehaving children), offers a much more minimal, mature and unisex selection of clothing. It’s in hopes the children will feel less inclined to fall in line with Tonka trucks and Barbie dolls and wear clothing that helps them explore their own identities.
Art, fashion and emotions are one in the same in Mexico. The country’s next generation of artists, like Andres Jimenez’ "Mancandy," explores identity in creative ways that are turning heads in the fashion industry. Jimenez takes the common silhouettes found in menswear and makes them available for anyone, while adding Latin American influences and sex appeal.