Girls in pink, boys in blue; it’s hard to believe that these dated notions were once deeply embedded in the fabric of our society. But as time evolves, so does fashion. 👗
Fashion has always been a catalyst for social change. In recent years, the fashion industry has taken a step in challenging traditional gender norms. 💁🏻♀️
According to a report by The Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company, the global market for gender-neutral fashion is expected to grow to $6.8 billion by 2023. 😱 This shows that there is a significant demand for clothing that is not limited by gender norms.
In a survey conducted by fashion resale platform ThredUp, 70% of Gen Z consumers expressed an interest in gender-neutral clothing, while 56% of millennials said they would be open to trying gender-neutral fashion.
The fashion industry is also seeing a rise in the number of gender non-conforming models on the runway. According to the Fashion Spot's diversity report for the Spring 2022 season, non-binary models accounted for 2.1% of all castings, up from 0.7% the previous season.
These data points illustrate that there is a growing trend towards gender-neutral and gender non-conforming fashion, and the industry is taking notice by creating more options and opportunities for consumers to express themselves beyond traditional gender norms.
Gender Inclusive Fashion
Many designers are challenging traditional gender roles by creating clothing lines that blur the lines between masculine and feminine fashion, which is slowly helping in disrupting the gender norms and promoting inclusivity through gender-neutral clothing.
Major fashion brands like H&M, Zara, and Gucci have all launched gender-neutral clothing lines in recent years. Gucci, for example, launched its gender-neutral collection featuring a range of unisex pieces that can be worn by anyone.
In 2020, Harry Styles graced the cover of Vogue in a Gucci jacket and a dress that went viral.
Source: diggit magazine
Today, the dated heteronormative approach to fashion is slowly changing and a more inclusive, gender-fluid ideology is taking its place. Many major stars have sparked important conversations about the gender binary, inspiring a generation of fans to be their most authentic selves.
In July 2021, the 13 Reasons Why star opened up about her "liberating and clarifying" transition, revealing to Time magazine that she'd been "privately identifying and living as a woman" since the previous year.
Speaking to L'Officiel in December 2019, the “Carolina” crooner claimed “gender differentiation” was fading away. “Many borders are falling – in fashion, but also in music, films and art. … Even if the masculine and feminine exist, their limits are the subject of a game,” he said. “We no longer need to be this or that. I think now, people are just trying to be good.”
“Magic has no gender,” he told CBS News. “I think the new generation is really ready. The kids are ready. It's the grownups that are slowing stuff down.”
During a conversation with Jane Fonda, Demi Lovato said - "When I strip myself of the norms that society has pushed on me ... I have become the most complete and authentic version of myself. If I had listened to the patriarchy, my life would have never changed. … I probably would have been married to a man with kids doing the thing that I was raised to believe I should do.”
Jonathan Van Ness
“Some days I feel like a man, but then other days I feel like a woman,” he told Out magazine in June 2019. “I didn’t think I was allowed to be nonconforming or genderqueer or non-binary — I was just always, like, 'a gay man' because that’s just the label I thought I had to be. … Any opportunity I have to break down stereotypes of the binary, I am down for it, I’m here for it.”
Looking Back In Time ⏳
Gender fluidity and its expression through clothing is not all that new. Research claims that the earliest cultures simply regarded cross-dressing as one variation in human behaviour, whereas men and women belonging to indigenous tribes often dressed the same.
Moving beyond the gender binary means that we appreciate how everyone — regardless of their identity — is hurt by gender norms that value people for an ideal of what they ‘should be’ not for who they ‘actually are’.
Gender is no longer just limited to male and female — or pink and blue — but is now a spectrum of non-conforming identities and fashion is beginning to reflect that. 🥰
The industry is shifting towards a more inclusive and accepting approach to fashion, and this is reflected in the changing attitudes of consumers.
As an unconventional lifestyle brand, The Banyan Tee hopes to see even more progress towards a world where gender is no longer a limiting factor.