For someone interested in fashion, there is nothing more exciting than planning and planning your future outfit based on emerging runway trends. There’s nothing like feeling discouraged by clothing that catches your eye because, for some reason, you see that it wasn’t made for you.
As an editor, it’s frustrating to see season after season of refusing to acknowledge people of different body types, abilities, races, ethnic backgrounds and genders on the runway. It wants to turn you away from an industry that apparently reflects inconsistencies through its values. But more than that, it wants to talk to you. Especially for marginalized people who find some brands inaccessible or limited, not just who or what is wearing on the runway but also at the basic level, because that’s how a collection is labeled (and that’s what we see first!).
“No color or fabric or cut penis is exclusive.”
Even show participants see the lights go out before listening to music thumping and before a presentation, finally setting the vibe, greeted with notes in their seats that can do one of two things: talk to everyone or specifically define the customer. Similarly, before I know what I’m going to see from a fashion house when I click on a press release, I often see two different links: “Download Women’s Clothing” or “Download Men’s Clothing.” It excludes only an entire population that is not identified as female or male, and it also speaks to the ancient notion that gender identity should influence clothing choices at all. Only words are that powerful, and they can be divisive.
For that reason, I still go back and admire Stony Michelle Love’s mission statement for stujo clothing all the time: “Our pieces are gender free because we like to call them because the last time we checked there were no clothes on.” This is consistent with the vision of Chromat designer Beka McCharen-Tran and his objectives as a manufacturer. Beka reveals a complete line of trans, nonbinary and curious swimwear for spring / summer 2022, telling me, “Garments are inherently gender neutral, because they are just objects. It is important that people understand that there is no color or fabric or cut. Gender is exclusive. ”
Of course, casting comes into play. Who is wearing these clothes because they introduced us to them for the first time? The New York Fashion Week diversity report on the fashion spot said that the presence of transgender and nonbinary models in the spring / summer of 2022 was 2.4 percent. , Moschino, Batsheva, Gabriela Hearst, Jonathan Simkhai, and Chromat, of course, which include a drag queen and an Intersex model. This is an increase compared to the six heterosexual or nonbinary models in NYFW in the fall of 2021, but it is still disappointing when you consider the fact that the European shows to follow are less historically less inclusive.
Ultimately, designers are going to win if they show how a skirt – or anything in clothing – anyone can wear if they want to, instead of just a certain type of person, which is why we’ve changed the narrow definition of gender on the runway. The front labels realize the design of that simple concept and approach through a simple gender-neutral lens, so I came to celebrate them. In order to expand representation in the future we need to bring visibility to brands that go beyond binary.