The popular Spanish high street store, Zara, has released a gender neutral clothing line on their website, simply named “ungendered”. It follows other stores and designers who have taken a similar approach in making the androgyny style mainstream.
The new range falls under their TRF (trafaluc) range that is aimed at a younger audience than their regular line. The collection consists of 8 very affordable, basic pieces including a navy top, white t-shirt, grey trousers, and even jeans, modelled by both female and male models. And whilst it is distinctly minimalistic, the very existence of a gender neutral clothing collection is hugely progressive in normalising gender fluidity. Zara aren’t the first to sell gender neutral clothing, following in the likes of American Apparel who have sold unisex clothing for years, including sweaters, t-shirts, hoodies and accessories. Similarly, with Uniqlo, of which the majority of clothing has been typically unisex.
It is rare for a collection to be labelled as unisex or gender neutral, yet despite this the “men” and “women” categories that clothing typically falls under is not restricted by gender, as demonstrated by Jaden Smith becoming the new face of Louis Vuitton womenswear.
Androgyny has been a trend for a while now, with staple pieces being given titles like “boyfriend t-shirt” or “boyfriend jeans”, yet this mainstream style majorly featured clothes usually worn by men, being worn by women. Words such as “baggy”. “simple”, and “non-fitted” are what are commonly used to describe unisex clothing, and yet these types of clothing are ordinarily worn by males. The lack of skirts, and dresses, and even bright colours in Zara’s collection has sparked outrage on Twitter who don’t see the line as being progressive enough.
If Zara actually wanted to release an ‘ungendered’ clothing line they could just take the words ‘men’ and ‘women’ off their current lines.
— CN Lester (@cnlester) March 5, 2016
I was so excited when I saw the new @ZARA ungendered line, but it’s literally t-shirts and sweats. Ok………
— t.Loew (@captainqtt) March 4, 2016
when will we move past this notion that genderless clothing simply = plain t-shirts/sweatpants? why is this “bold”? https://t.co/j5SyO3Z0go
— Tyler Ford (@tywrent) March 4, 2016
“Zara has boldly released its first Ungendered clothing line” it’s literally just male coded lounge wear
— fay organa d-5 (@magicaIgirI) March 4, 2016
y’know that “ungendered” clothing line looks pretty stereotypically masculine
— Adam Suzumiya (@TurnaboutAdam) March 7, 2016
Zara’s new collection is only “Ungendered” because it looks equally shit on everyone, regardless of gender pic.twitter.com/qKnMMRwKRB
— Noah (@NoahCalderone) March 7, 2016
The line may be basic, but it doesn’t have anything specific to set genders apart, or individual identities. It resembles a sort-of uniform for equality, it probably appeals more for those who feel ambiguous, or introverted about their gender. But the title of the collection, is definitely a step in the right direction. For those looking to think outside the box, all they have to do is ignore the “women” in womenswear, and the “men” in menswear and just wear what they want, and hopefully in the future other shops will be more outlandish in their unisex designs.