Written by: Nicole Lutze
Once intrinsically linked in Western society, sex and gender have in more recent years become very separate issues. While scientists have scrambled to deal with the chemical and physical components of sexual identification, society has tackled the cultural side of the equation and flipped traditional concepts on their head.
Leading the current gender revolution is our Gen Zers. According to a 2016 report, more than half of American Gen Zers know someone who uses gender-neutral pronouns, compared to 43 per cent of people aged 28 to 34. And only 44 per cent of Generation Z said they always bought clothes designed for their own gender, versus 54 per cent of millennials.
Whether the media and fashion industries contribute to these changes or simply reflect the conversation around them, is an age-old debate we’re not going to solve in this blog post. But what’s obvious is that gender representation is a hot topic in both these realms.
Australian transgender model, Andreja Pejic (formerly Andrej Pejic) made global headlines in 2011 when she modelled a push-up bra, pre-sexual reassignment surgery. French Olympian and international model, Casey Legler, became the first woman signed exclusively as a male model in 2012. And more recently, Australian actress and model, Ruby Rose, announced she is gender fluid.
At Etiko, we are all for breaking down barriers, creating change and representing what the people want. But the blurring of gender lines also creates real-world business challenges when designing, categorising and selling merchandise. The bodies of men and women are physically different, and no one wants to buy clothes that don’t fit and feel fabulous to wear. We’re also conscious of potentially influencing peoples self-perception. We want body positivity for everyone and never want to contribute to unrealistic standards or ideals.
So today, we’re asking what you think of gender in fashion. Are you happy to see men modelling female clothing, and vice versa? Do you want to see more transgender models and gender neutral clothing? Or are you a traditionalist who thinks fashion should be modelled by those for whom the clothes are designed to best-fit?
Get in touch and let us know your thoughts via our COMMENT SECTION below. Or start the conversation on social media using #etikogender
Author: Nicole Lutze
Nicole is a freelance writer and marketing consultant with a passion for sustainability. She loves to tell stories about people who are inspired to do things differently, and those who hope to change the world for the better. She’s also the mother of two tiny humans with big personalities, and an obsessive enthusiast of vegetable gardens.