Is ‘Agender‘ the new normcore? It’s a new word to get our heads around but it’s essentially not a new concept. It’s Selfridges‘ description for the current vogue for gender-neutral dressing, in which we take away the gender stereotypes around clothing and just wear what we feel like. Not ‘he’ or ‘she’ but ‘me’.
The Agender concept launched in the Oxford Street store last Thursday, with dedicated areas designed by Studio Toogood, the creative practice of Faye Toogood. So ‘menswear’ and ‘womenswear’ product is jumbled together and merchandised as ‘Agender’, along with a few extra brands and designers bought in specially.
Even the visual merchandising has been turned on its head with product displayed in unbranded cloth garment bags and archive boxes, stripped of the usual clues of branding and trends. A bold move surely! Instead, to draw customers into these chickenwire enclosures, there are abstract sculptures and artworks to ponder and, hopefully, provoke into some trying and buying action…
My favourte pieces include the Bodymap bags printed with their signature star print, gorgeously crafted utility-wear by Faye Toogood’s own label, Yang Li’s sweats and obviously, everything Comme. There’s a big focus on young streety London labels such as Nasir Mazhar and Astrid Andersen as well as the likes of Nicopanda and Yang Li. To accompany what’s in store are eye-catching windows devoid of traditional mannequins, a pretty cool video and a programme of accompanying in-store events. Wonder if it will catch on?
WORDS: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl
IMAGES: Selfridges; Disneyrollergirl