Is Gender Fluidity a Fashion Statement?


Gender fluidity has been explored in the fashion industry for years and is highly prominent in day-to-day wear, which might lead you to wonder how this fashion phenomenon began. You’ve probably seen this trend all over street-wear without even knowing what it was. 

‘Gender fluid’ in fashion is essentially clothes that can be worn both by men and women. Think of Off-White , Anti Social Social Club, and Balenciaga. These stores typically offer loose clothing or chunky sneakers, such as Balenciaga’s Triple S . The pioneers of the recent trend are Demna Gvasalia, Creative Director of Balenciaga and Vetements and Alessandro Michele, Creative Director of Gucci. So what’s their take on it?

It’s practically impossible to discuss gender fluidity without mentioning Alessandro Michele, which is perhaps why he has stated he hates the term. Even though many consider gender fluid fashion a statement, that wasn’t Michele’s intent. An interview conducted by The New York Times brought Michele together with another one of the biggest creators in hypebeast fashion: Demna Gvasalia. When the journalist mentioned gender fluidity, Demna went as far as calling the term vulgar and Michele was clear to say he didn’t invent it since it already (perhaps subconsciously) existed in our lives.

 A moment that is still discussed in fashion today is the Gucci 2015 Fashion Show, which was the first to have both men and women model the same line. When Michele was asked about his decision to join both collections, he said it seemed only natural since it’s the way he sees the world today. This is the point Michele and Gvasalia are trying to make. Unlike most of us guessed, the designers aren’t trying to make a statement about blurring the lines between genders, they are simply making what they think will sell. Both Creative Directors look at fashion as simply clothes, which makes sense when you consider Gvasalia’s own brand Vetements literally means “clothes” in French. Perhaps this choice would have been considered a statement 10 years ago, but nowadays it’s just that, a choice.  

I believe gender fluidity is not about being fashionable, it’s about being comfortable and just wearing whatever you want, so why don’t we treat it as such? When you wear a shirt from Off-White you aren’t trying to make a statement about the way society handles gender-fluidity, you just liked the shirt. On the other hand, there are people that consider it a statement and turn what is supposed to be a trend into something much deeper. While fashion can definitely be used to make critiques, that is not the point of the gender fluid fashion. Non-binary fashion, meaning clothes that aren’t gender exclusive, is not limited to celebrities and those in the fashion world, it’s meant to be explored by everyone who wants to. The point of it, unlike mainstream media, has suggested, isn’t to make a statement, but rather to feel comfortable in your clothes. 

Simply because it’s no longer considered a fashion statement, the creativity behind exploring fashion of both sexes still remains. Don’t take this article the wrong way, I still encourage you to buy all of the puffer jackets and industrial belts you want; but the next time someone acts like they are the next Alexa Chung for wearing a baggy Vetements hoodie, let them know their place.