British retailer Selfridges is planning to bring an entire retail concept to its stores dedicated to gender neutrality. The Agender project will include unisex clothing, a gender-less window display, and art pieces that examine the concept of gender.
A store rep told WWD that it is launching Agender as "a fashion exploration of the masculine, the feminine and the interplay…found in between." The new retail experience will serve as a place where people "can choose to shop and dress without limitations or stereotypes."
Selfridges will feature exclusive collections, including lines from Bodymap, a historically important and experimental British label; Nicola Formichetti’s Nicopanda, a collection of unisex clothing inspired by Japan's Harajuku movement; footwear label Underground; and made to order pieces from Rad Hourani, a Canadian designer who has been creating high-end unisex collections since 2007.
Other individual pieces that embody the idea of dressing without gender will also be available from designers such as Ann Demeulemeester, Comme des Garçons, Meadham Kirchhoff, and Gareth Pugh.
Gender-neutral window displays will not feature typical mannequins. And inside the store, a variety of different art forms, from music to film and photography, that explore the notion of gender will be on display
Although Selfridges’ creative director Linda Hewson insists this “is not about harnessing a trend," gender-neutral clothing has been making a splash recently. The most notable example as of late is Shayne Oliver of Hood By Air, who has consistently used his runway shows and designs to challenge the idea of gender. So, maybe it's more fitting then that Hewson goes on to describes the project as a response "to a cultural shift that is happening now."
The Agender project will run at Selfridges' stores in London, Manchester, and Birmingham, as well as on its website starting March 12.