If, like us, you’re a keen Zara.com customer, you may have noticed a new addition to the website’s menu in the last few days.
Nestled under the TRF section now sits ‘Ungendered’, the high street retailer’s first attempt at offering gender-free clothing.
It was launched last week, with no fanfare.
The collection currently consists of eight pieces; plain T-shirts, hoodies, jeans and the like in grey, white and navy. So far, so simple.
But for some critics, that’s the problem; it’s too simple.
This isn’t skirts for girls AND guys; it’s clothing that, in much of the world, hasn’t really been associated with a particular gender for quite some time anyway.
Baggy jeans and plain hoodies? Men and women have been wearing them for decades.
For others, Zara’s foray is admirable even if it's not perfect. Perhaps, at this point in time, the gesture is the most important thing.
The Spanish super-brand is the most prominent high-street retailer to dip its toe into the gender-neutral waters. It’s also probably the most influential affordable fashion brand in the world, meaning others will likely want to now join this important, and frankly overdue, conversation. And surely that can only be a good thing, right?
But it's important to remember that gender fluidity in fashion is nothing new.
Rick Owens has been doing it for years, as have many other 'designer' brands. Gucci, under the creative directorship of Alessandro Michele, Vetements, Saint Laurent and J.W. Anderson are just a few of the big names that have helped to push it through to the mainstream in the last couple fo years, while Louis Vuitton cast a skirt-wearing Jaden Smith (son of Will and Jada) in its latest womenswear campaign.