When it comes the world of fashion, all too often labels aren’t just reserved for clothes. Separate departments and disparate styles and sizing mean that, in the majority of stores, shoppers are forced to choose a gender binary definition before they can even begin browsing. This delineation of ‘menswear’ and ‘womenswear’ feels increasingly archaic, but much needed change is afoot. And among those making a change is Equipment, the last word in chic shirting, which has partnered with The Phuild Project to launch a gender-fluid collection.
Is there a single fashion editor out there who doesn’t own an Equipment shirt? The French label’s menswear-inspired shirting designs were adopted by style icons such as Jane Birkin and Yoko Ono after the brand launched in 1976, and have since been spotted on just about every stylish celebrity you can think of. Equipment’s signature body-skimming silk shirts have always embraced an androgynous aesthetic but, as James Miller (CEO of The Collected Group, which owns Equipment) is quick to emphasise “This gender-fluid line in not a unisex clothing line.”.
Recognising the demographic of people who do not define themselves within gender boundaries, Equipment’s new range of shirts and trousers places an emphasis on timeless style, without gender binary restrictions. Collaborating closely with The Phuild Project, the world’s first gender free shopping space, the Fluid collection firmly places the emphasis on the shopper to choose the pieces that reflect their personal style, without the limiting restraints of gender-binary sizing, fit and branding.
As inclusive of taste as it is of gender, the Fluid collection ranges from subtly understated black and navy cotton pieces to statement polka-dot and floral silk tops. Designed to be thoroughly inclusive, fabrics used in the Fluid collection are slightly heavier to allow for individuals to wear the designs without hair showing through the fabric and all pieces are available in sizes XXS - XXL.
“More and more, folks are rejecting the dated constructs to be binary male or female”, says Rob Smith, CEO and founder of The Phluid Project. “We see this come through in gender identify and gender expression. This concept is nothing new, but has been oppressed over time through western colonialism. Today, especially led by young adults, we are rejecting this concept.”
Smith continues: “More and more we see folks saying I’m not this or that. They are now saying I’m this and that. We see it on the runways, in social media, and in the streets. It’s a thrilling time in modern history to see authentic self-expression. This is a global movement and it’s happening from South Korea to South Carolina. And, thanks to social media, it’s moving at a pace unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before. I think many adults are living in the dark and might be completely caught off guard by this movement.”
Working with The Phuild Project’s network of gender diverse models, the collection’s campaign cast trans and non-binary models, as well as gender expressive models, to ensure representation from across the community. “The clothing is beautiful, but it’s the humans we featured and their stories of honesty and courage that we are celebrating.” says Smith.
The Fluid collection is available to purchase online and at select non-binary retailers worldwide.
Images courtesy of Equipment