Youth Trend: Gender Fluidity

June is here and so are the Men’s Fashion Weeks. Not only men will walk the catwalk, and chances are you won’t even notice. Gender fluidity is a youth trend that is being picked up by fashion and some are wondering: why still the distinction between men’s and women’s fashion weeks ?  

pic by Milk Makeup

Gender fluidity is hot. The topic made the cover of Times Magazine and National Geographic. It's all over fashion magazines: boys wear women's clothes (A.C.N.E) and women wear men's clothes. Men become make-up ambassadors (Milk MakeUp) and on the catwalk it's sometimes very hard to tell apart male and female models.

I have no gender, no sexuality and no fucks to give. 
Shamir Bailey (22),
Musician, U.S.

Gender Fluidity resounds with young consumers. Since for Gen Z, gender is a passé concept. Most youngsters do identify with one of both genders, but when asked, they all know someone who doesn't. And that's okay. A study of Gen Z’ers in the US, found the majority resoundingly supporting equality, with 73% of those surveyed supporting gay marriage and 74% supporting transgender rights.

For younger generations, it's a no brainer that some people don't feel like a man OR a woman. One day they might feel like Beyoncé, and the next as Drake. And the day after it's none of the above and simply something in between. That's gender fluidity for you. 

Fashion is increasingly aware of the trend, and gender fluidity is having a momentum. So why are there still men's and women's fashion weeks?

What is Gender Fluidity? 

Technically, gender fluidity is one of the subdivisions of LGBTQ, a subcategory under queer. Queer means that you don't feel exclusive male or female.
Fluidity is about feeling different in your sexual core, depending on your mood or the time of the day, and thus you dress and act differently. You wake up as a women and go to sleep as a man. It depends. It's both. It's none of these. It is about not being labeled as anything.

Isn’t gender fluidity also a label?

Indeed, gender fluidity has also become a label. That's mostly because we as humans have a tendency to put a name to everything. When you can put a label on the behaviour of your son or daughter, it's easier to digest and to connect. Secondly, youngsters themselves are experimenting with their identity, and thus with labels too. It can be useful to put a name to what you're doing or what you're feeling.

But that's only part of the story. We notice a movement of youngsters that want to break free of the LGBTQ classification as a whole. They don't want any kind of label, they simply want to live in the moment, and dress and behave like they feel at that specific time. These people tend be more confident and are more aware of who they are. Future will tell if society shall tune into this kind of liberating thinking. Maybe it starts with you?

What does this mean for business? 

Supporting young consumers in their fight for pluriformity’ is crucial to connect with this generation. This means you and your business have to be equipped with a good dose of empathy. Add to that an open-minded attitude and analytical skills, and you have a good shot at plotting out fruitful solutions together.

Need some help with that? Give us a shout!