How is our perception of gender evolving in the fashion industry?

Published, 4 years ago

The bridge between gender roles in 2017 is becoming progressively more narrow, not only in the fashion industry but throughout society, mainstream media and politics. From the runways, through to the high street, the emergence of genderless fashion is slowly beginning to distort the line between traditional gender roles in the industry.

gender 1

Fashion, historically, is fundamentally split by gender, however the recent growth in the acceptance and acknowledgment of transgender and gender binary – those who do not identify as either male or female – communities is igniting a vital change within the industry. It’s almost certain that these changes have come from a shift in cultural and societal changes; a most recent example being Emma Watson.

The Hollywood actor became the first to accept a gender-neutral award for Best Actor last month, causing headlines around the world. Watson said of her win: “The first acting award in history that doesn’t separate nominees based on their sex says something about how we perceive the human experience. We celebrate portrayals of the human experience, because the only distinction we should be making when it comes to awards is between outstanding performance.” With the likes of Watson as a role model, society, in particular the younger generation, are increasingly challenging gender stereotypes and becoming more vocal about their rights.

So, what does this mean for the future of fashion?

While we’ve seen gender stereotypes challenged and occasionally defeated in fashion and popular culture throughout history: YSL’s ‘Le Smoking Suit’, David Bowie, the Disco era; these breakthroughs were not necessarily about removing the labels within gender, but about crossing and breaking those boundaries. Today’s fashion revolutionaries are not interested in feminising men or emasculating women, rather they are aiming to blur the masculine/feminine divide and eliminate those labels. Take Gucci and Burberry for example.

Burberry’s September show took inspiration from Virginia Woolfe’s ‘Orlando’, in which the protagonist switches from man to woman. Designer, Christopher Bailey showcased a collection of ruffled collared shirts, silk pajama separates and paisley prints while Gucci followed suit with a collection of loose silks, floral prints on suiting and shorts and bows and embellishments – all of which could, and more importantly were worn by all genders. Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele stated: “It seems only natural to me to present my men’s and women’s collection together. It’s the way I see the world today. If the clothes are beautiful, what does it matter who’s wearing them?”

As fashion so often does, the movement has trickled down to the high street with Zara unveiling their ungendered collection – consisting of t-shirts, sweatshirts and denim – last year. And while some have argued that this is none other than a unisex collection, lacking in anything outwardly feminine or masculine, it’s hard to not ignore this as a step forward, with leading brands recognising the basic needs of trans and gender binary people.

zara ung

Credit: Zara

While it’s fair to say there’s still a long way to go before gender fluidity is accepted within mainstream media and the fashion industry, it’s clear to see where the future is heading. And it certainly looks bright.

Liked what you read? Share the article!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pocket
Share on whatsapp
Share on linkedin

Get Noticed with Fashion Rider.

Get the recognition you deserve. Portfolio, Jobs, Social Media promotion and much more. All in one membership. 

You might also like

9 bad budgeting habits that you absolutely need to stop right now

You want to be financially responsible, but you struggle with sticking to a budget. It’s not your fault! You may be practising these 9 bad budgeting habits that are sabotaging your budget.

Read More

Upgrading your Website: 6 of the important things to consider Now

It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new website, but it’s important to take a step back and think through some of the finer details.
Upgrading your website can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. And if you do it right, you’ll have a website that’s not only a pleasure to use but also an asset to your business. Here are six of the most important things to consider when you upgrade

Read More

Six Trends To Watch In The Education Industry In Upcoming Years

Technology will surely play a huge role in the education system in the upcoming years. Changes might be fast and constant, so we might experience …

Read More

The Top 6 Effective Marketing Tips that will take your brand to the next level

Marketing can be so wide-ranging that it can be difficult to know where to start. However, we can’t ignore the importance of a robust marketing …

Read More

8 Tips to Boost your Income

Becoming a successful freelancer can take time, perseverance, confidence, and determination.  It can also be overwhelming. Stepping out on your own, pursuing what you love, and …

Read More

Fashion: Casino Attire

Going to a casino can be an exciting experience for first timers. However, this could also be stressful if you don’t know the proper attire …

Read More

Diversifying Your Income as a Fashion Professional

Hi, I’m Luisa Kearney, a professional fashion stylist and editor. I currently work full-time as a fashion blogger and stylist, earning a full-time income. Although …

Read More

6 best apps for 2021 you should have in your phone

Find apps for your phones can be time-consuming, which is why we bring you the 6 best apps for 2021 you should have on your phone this year.

Read More

Hip Hop Fashion, from streets to mainstream: 7 Interesting things to know

How rappers branded themselves revolutionized the business of hip hop fashion.

Read More

Subscribe to our newsletter today!


Promoting our members throughout the industry, providing exciting job opportunities and supporting them with increased visibility and valuable advice to ensure their journey is a long and successful one.

Fashion Rider
First Floor, Swan Buildings, 20 Swan St, Manchester M4 5JW

Subscribe to our newsletter today!

© 2020 Fashion Rider UK

We use cookies to offer you a better experience and analyze site traffic. By continuing, you consent to the use of the cookies following our privacy policy. You may choose to opt-out through our privacy policy page.