Who Needs Gender? Why Men And Women Are Dressing Identically

by MR Magazine Staff

MEN’S” AND “WOMEN’S” categories still occupy the navigation menu on the website for 10-year-old retailer Totokaelo. Yet shoppers have increasingly crossed these virtual gender lines, said Fanny Damiette, vice president of brand and marketing for its parent company, Richmond, Va.-based NSTO. “We have data that shows that sometimes the girls will go in the men’s section and the men will go in the women’s section.” The shop leans into this fluidity, hiring transgender and nonbinary models and putting menswear in the women’s section. Similar retail shifts are happening world-wide, as the fashion industry adjusts to customers who are challenging the gender binary. “Around 2015…gender identity [became] part of the national conversation,” said Ayako Homma, a consultant at market-research provider Euromonitor International. That same year Caitlyn Jenner came out as transgender in the media; Target removed gender labels on kids’ clothing and toys; and a survey by Fusion Media Group found that half of millennials viewed gender as a spectrum. “These scripted ideas of what a man and woman should do are breaking down, and therefore what they’re wearing no longer has to follow those rigid lines either,” said Justin Berkowitz, men’s fashion director of Bloomingdale’s. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.