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The Rise Of Genderless Fashion

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 30/10/2015 Sharifa Murdock
GENDER © shutterstock GENDER

Androgyny, A-gender, genderless, gender neutral, gender blending - you may have heard these buzzwords circulating the fashion ether recently. As a woman working in menswear for nearly two decades, I inherently incorporate androgynous style into my own personal look, pushing myself to flirt with boundaries and experiment with new trends. I love rocking a tailored button down and slouchy jean, but more and more, I've noticed the lines (or threads) of fashion are being blurred.
Androgyny isn't just about taking a cue from the boys anymore. Designers are retiring from gender norms that have dominated the industry for years. Men are wearing women's clothes and women are wearing men's clothes. For as much as I am devoted to menswear, I love witnessing this shift in public perspective of genderless fashion.The fashion industry and the way we dress is becoming fluid --leaving consumers and retailers asking the question: is genderless fashion here to stay, or is it just a fad?

From the runway to editorial campaigns to street style, the genderless dress code is becoming a mainstay for designers. The New York Times described New York Fashion Week as a "gender blur," in June. Even corporate giants like Target are responding to the gender neutrality movement by removing gender-based signage from the floors of their stores. Emerging brands like Harbison, Public School and Hood By Air are pushing the boundaries by encouraging men and women to wear clothing with silhouettes that aren't exclusive to gender, but instead embrace both the masculine and feminine sides of fashion.
What excites me most about this trend is seeing the way it trickles down into menswear, and being able to provide a stage for designers at Liberty Fairs to showcase and make a bold statement to the industry. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is discovering and curating the next generation of innovative and forward thinking designers to welcome into the Liberty Fairs family. Our hearts beat to the sound of freedom and equality in fashion and beyond. While the traditional perception of what is masculine or feminine still holds strong roots in the retail industry, it's undeniable that the rise of genderless fashion is just getting started.

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