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Inside Selfridges' radical, gender-neutral department store

Inside Selfridges' radical, gender-neutral department store
We live in a world where Facebook and Google+ have introduced "infinite" gender options for users, trans models like Andreja Pejic and Hari Nef are burning up the runway; and designers like Hood By Air and Telfar break new ground in fashion every day. Is it any wonder that walking into a store and only heading for your gender-assigned aisle is starting to feel a little passé? Enter Selfridges latest initiative, Agender, a pop-up department that aims to create a "genderless shopping experience" within the London department store. I went down to visit Agender on the opening day to see what a gender-neutral store actually looks like. Is it lightly watered by the tears of queer unicorns; adorned with the statues of LGBT heroes and feminist icons who sought to destroy gender stereotypes at every turn? Does a giant, kindly bust of Judith Butler look over you and your gender non-conforming boyfriend as you peruse unisex Stan Smiths and HBA sweatshirts?

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Agender - The Concept Store As part of Agender, Selfridges is creating a unique genderless shopping experience across fashion, accessories and beauty. The Concept Space, devised by renowned designer Faye Toogood, is an environment in which you are given the freedom to transcend notions of 'his' and 'hers', as you simply find your most desired item by colour, fit and style. Including exclusive designs by both world-renowned and upcoming designers, complemented by exciting beauty launches, these products mark a significant turning point in the way we think about fashion, beauty and style. Welcome to the future of genderless shopping. What does 'agender' mean to you? Gender-neutral fashion: beyond menswear and womenswear From men in wigs in the 1700s, to David Bowie and Diane Keaton’s Annie Hall in the 1970s, fashion has long toyed with gender boundaries. But this coming season, a new trend of gender-flouting suggests the next phase will be less about men in skirts, and more about men and women sharing skirts. Welcome to the world of gender-neutral fashion. An as yet untitled new documentary produced by Lena Dunham’s company, A Casual Romance Productions, is set to chart the growth in gender-nonconforming fashion. Its main subject, Rachel Tutera, 29, who works for New York tailors Bindle & Keep and describes herself as “a clothier to the LGBTQ community”, began making bespoke suits for women after years of struggling to find clothes that suited her tomboy style.

Zara Genderless Clothing Line 2016 - Non Binary We tend to get very excited about Zara's newest arrivals. But the fast-fashion retailer's latest drop is particularly groundbreaking: The brand has introduced a range of gender-neutral clothing to its vast inventory. The Spanish retail powerhouse quietly introduced Ungendered, a new section in its TRF label. The 16 items range from T-shirts and sweatshirts to denim and Bermuda shorts — unisex basics in neutral colours, constructed from comfortable cottons and cotton blends. On the website, pieces from the inaugural collection are photographed on both a male and female model. And because it's Zara we're talking about (and specifically, its casual, more-affordable TRF range), nothing tops £29.99.

One Major Department Store Will Be Going Completely Gender-Neutral On March 12, London's famed Selfridges department store is launching Agender, a three-floor pop-up that will treat customers to something revolutionary: a gender-neutral shopping experience. Instead of using traditional male and female mannequins, the store's windows will feature figures dressed in non-gender-specific clothing; the project will also incorporate photography, film, music and décor that examines the idea of gender. Women's Wear Daily reports that Agender will feature a variety of unisex lines, including collections from Bodymap, Nicola Formichetti and footwear label Underground.

How Genderless Dressing is More Than a Trend Fashion Week is, of course, when designers present their new collections to the world and with that their interpretations of the trends for the coming seasons. Except this time things were different. The runways of recent have been distinctly more androgynous than we have seen before. In fact, this new movement goes beyond androgyny, which implies clothing that is somewhat gender-neutral. Gender-neutral Cosmetics Following the creation of unisex collections in the fashion industry, the cosmetics sector has also begun to blur the concept of gender. Like fashion and its trends, beauty—a gender-specific sector if there ever was one—is now redefining its borders to expand its offer. Some brands, however, didn’t wait for the question of gender to become a social phenomenon before exploring it. The most obvious of these is Calvin Klein with its iconic fragrance ”CK One” that shook up the gender codes in the Nineties, followed by others like Kiehl’s, Byredo, Aesop (with its Marrakech and Tacit fragrances), Verso, Absolution and Malin Goetz.

Blurred Lines: Why Gender-Neutral Fashion Is the New Normal I can finally come out with it, because it's not that big deal of a "reveal" anymore: About half of my older blue jeans (and some of my khakis and cords) are women's brands purchased by either me or my wife over the years. What can I say? They spoke to me more than what was on the men's racks at the time. I wasn't interested in a feminine silhouette, zippered ankles, or a skinny tapered leg that would Russell Brand me out. No jeggings for me.

Should there be gender in the beauty industry? The world of beauty is a big and diverse one. There are many lotions, potions, beauty brands, up and coming cosmetic lines and the industry is simply getting bigger and bigger. Over the past decade or so, it seems that more men have become open about using and purchasing beauty products. So much so that many beauty brands and companies have made sections featuring products solely targeted towards men. In a society that’s said to be open-minded and equal, is this a step to equality or a step back? Gucci Goes Gender Neutral Gucci did good Bravo, Gucci! Just when you thought the brand couldn’t get any better, they only go and make a major announcement that’s set to shake up the fashion calendar - for good. Why Women Are Walking the Men’s Runways This Season What’s the point of showing women’s clothes to men? I generalize, of course—not everyone in the audience at the men’s shows is male—but, look! Lots and lots of girls have been walking runways in London and Milan these past couple of weeks, in the round of collections that are (ostensibly) aimed at showing the chaps of the menswear industry what they might like to wear, come spring 2016. Regard! Miuccia Prada liberally studded her men’s collection with female models yesterday afternoon. Out of 51 looks, 20 were a compilation of super-compelling, wacky, girls’ outfits—a layered pile-up of sweaters with rocket and rabbit motifs, short sequin shifts, vintage-y sport stripes, skirts with collaged panels going this way and that: in all, Mrs.

Meet Siobhan Atwell, the Transgender Model-of-the-Moment Though models are paid to be seen and not necessarily heard, the industry has lately become a platform for the transgender voice. Barneys, H&M, and Givenchy are just a handful of brands that have enlisted transgender talent to bring life to their ad campaigns; gender fluidity has been a pervading theme in collections as of late; and designers have looked to rising stars like Andreja Pejic, Lea T, and Hari Nef to walk their runways. Some of these famous faces’ stories have played out before our very eyes—most notably that of Pejic, who first came onto the scene as Andrej and posed as both male and female before transforming into the female model she is today. Model Siobhan Atwell is taking a leaf from Pejic’s book. She announced publicly last month that she had made the decision to fully transition. Over the last year, though, photographers had been more interested in Atwell’s feminine side, which she says played a large part in her decision to transition.