With fashion being one of the most fun, creative forms of self-expression, it seems rather antiquated to us that many brands categorise their clothes into two genders, when in reality, there is much more to gender than simply male and female. As the voices of those who do not identify as strictly male or female are slowly (sometimes) being accepted and heard instead of disregarded and ignored, more brands are beginning to catch on and create gender neutral collections to suit these customers.
Here’s something to chew on; why, when walking into a shop, does the girls section have pink frilly dresses and the boys section have blue shirts with superheroes on, from very early years? Why are there gendered sections at at all? Why should our clothes be gendered, why in an industry brimming with amazing designs by amazing designers, must we be restricted to only wearing clothes that encourage society to put us in strict gender boxes? Well, we don’t have all the answers. But what we have done is rounded up our favourite gender neutral fashion brands, so that if you find yourself wanting more than the average female/male fashion offering, you’ve got it.
Want to learn more about gender neutrality? Check out Forbes’ science-backed tips for the argument of bringing up a child in a gender neutral manner.
Unisex loos may be popping up here and there and understanding and acceptance of people who identify as gender-neutral or gender-fluid may be better than it was in the past, but there’s still a long way to go in the journey to equality, diversity, representation and inclusiveness of all humans, no matter how they identify. The following innovative and exemplary fashion brands are the alternatives in a world of strictly male and female. Their clothes are gender-neutral, meaning they’re for everyone and anyone. Discover them, understand them, love them, and support them by shopping from them.
12 Gender-Neutral Fashion Brands to Know and Love
Nicopanda is a New York based streetwear brand specialising in colourful tulle dresses, graphic hoodies and most recently, in their SS19 collection, boiler suits with vibrant prints. The brand reflects the personal style of its founder Nicola Formichetti, somewhat of a style icon in the big apple. Anyone can wear these clothes, and anyone should.
Agender’s pieces are strong, pulling in both stereotypically masculine and feminine traits but overall, are flawlessly genderless. The Check shorts are perfect for a working day, and the shirts from the SS18 collection are great for layering this winter. Inspired by art collages, the ‘UNTITLED’ uses screen printing silk screen, PVC press and embroidery. The silhouettes are flattering and elude to the authentic craftsmanship of the designers. Simply put: we want it all. Shop via us.wconcept.com or agender.co.kr
Telfar, a unisex clothing line created in New York in 2005, is ‘not for you — it’s for everyone’. Sold internationally, Telfar’s most recent Spring Summer 19 collection was a hit at New York Fashion Week as excited guests saw an unusual runway show that was an audio-visual experience, something founder Telfar Clemens is excellent at producing. On the website, you can find select pieces from the SS18, FW18 and C21 Capsule Collections, including cosy hoodies perfect for winter and high-quality leather belts and shopping bags.
Gender neutrality was forefront at their recent Spring/Summer 19 show, with bold prints such as red and white stripes and a glorious cowhide design that would work on any and all genders. Found in prestige shopping locations across the globe such as Dover Street Market in New York, Galeries Lafayette in Paris, Opening Ceremony in Tokyo, Matches in London alongside Net-A-Porter and Ssense online, Ekhaus Latta designer Mike Eckhaus explains ‘we relate to gender identity a little less aggressively. It’s less binary and I think that’s something we have always felt attuned to.’
Toogood, a beautifully artistic fashion brand created by sisters Faye and Erica Toogood offers sustainable, gender-neutral garments that are inspired by utilitarian workwear. Each collection has a backstory, for example, Collection 003 which highlights the importance of embracing one’s individuality and leaving behind conformity and convention. We have our eyes on the Toogood Denim collection, entirely designed and constructed in Britain, using Britain’s only selvedge denim fabric and manufactured in a century-old mill in Lancashire before being completed in a London atelier. Buy directly from their website, which doubles as a sort of online art exhibition in itself, or find them in Selfridges in London amongst department stores worldwide.
For gender-neutral basics ideal for creating a minimalist and stylish capsule wardrobe, look no further than One DNA. The emerging designer based in New York City creates ready-to-wear apparel that suits a multitude of body shapes and sizes. Getting unisex clothing right is notoriously difficult, but One DNA have hit the nail on the head with their clothes that break down the womenswear/menswear barrier without sacrificing its style DNA.
Artist, photographer, film-maker and designer Rad Hourani celebrates neutrality in the form of genderless fashion and in 2007, started the first gender-neutral unisex collection in fashion history. The website welcomes you with undeniably cool pieces including monochrome shirts and jersey turtlenecks, alongside art prints. Invest in the cosy-looking coats in time for winter and treat yourself to the cotton caps for bad hair days.
Inspired by fashion, music, art and nature, Africa Fashion International Young Designer of the Year in 2014, Rich Mnisi, is a South African based brand showcasing a genderless, contemporary look. The NWA-MULAMULA: MOTHER ’18 collection is particularly striking and unique, featuring bold prints, asymmetric hems and flattering shapes that wouldn’t look out of place on a red carpet or equally at the pub. Mnisi’s clothes are glamorous and modern and just one piece would infuse anyone’s wardrobe with enough style to make a statement on any street.
London-based design studio Bethnals are the experts at creating denim that is completely undefined by gender. Inspired by the diverse cultural hub that is London, Bethnals offer comfortable fits that put a contemporary spin on the classic jean staple. Layer on top of the Indigo Max Dungarees, dress up or dress down the Charlie Selvedge jeans and keep warm in the Tommy Borg jacket, all at very reasonable prices.
Specialising in sharp asymmetrical cuts and bold colours, Wilde Vertigga is a brand well, for the wild. Their range online suits the needs of smart-clothes lovers, with structured coats and shirts, and those who prefer casualwear, with cropped trousers and t-shirts.
Fashion brand DB Berdan creates clothes for those who don’t want their personal style to define their gender or sexuality. More than a fashion brand, DB Berdan is a community for like-minded shoppers. You can also shop some of their 90s style pieces on ASOS.
A great option for genderless fashion lovers, Jacqueline Loekito’s collections are artistic with each garment including both typically masculine and feminine elements such as sharp tailoring and bright colour palettes.