When you go into most clothing stores these days, their clothes will be separated into ‘male’ and ‘female’ sections based on how feminine or masculine the designs are. Not only is this a pointless move on the retailer’s part (clothes are just clothes and should not be inherently gendered) but it’s also discriminatory to those who don’t identify as male or female (or identify as both) and are just out to buy some new threads – without misgendering themselves in the process.
Furthermore, because of the way that clothes are gendered in stores it means that genderfluid or non-binary folks often fail to find clothes that fit them, as they are designed to fit cisgendered bodies. Even when clothes do cater to non-cis people, those sizes tend to be on the small size.
This dilemma is exactly why Elliott Alexzander’s style blog – House of Alexzander – has been such a huge success. Alexzander explains:
“This came from my personal struggles. I had a hard time finding clothes that fit my body and still allowed me to express who I am. When I started my fashion blog, I quickly realized I wasn’t the only one.”
And following on from the blog’s success, Alexzander has ventured into the world of fashion retail, having launched the GenderFlux fashion label. The idea behind behind GenderFlux, Alexzander says, is that:
“We want to create fashion that is marketed in a way that doesn’t make the customer feel bad about their body or their gender expression. And to create a space where non-binary people can shop for clothes without feeling uncomfortable.”
One way that Alexzander is keeping to that is by using models of colour, as well as models with varying body types to promote the clothes on the GenderFlux site (GenderFlux.com). As it stands, GenderFlux’s products include a bracelet and several t-shirts emblazoned with the gender variant logo and the phrases ‘GenderVariant’, ‘Non-Binary’ and ‘GenderQueer’.
The obvious issue with these clothes is that although they are inclusive, there aren’t really any options for genderfluid or non-binary folks who have not yet told people about their gender identity and so wearing a piece of GenderFlux clothing could out themselves. Alexzander says that there are plans for a full GenderFlux clothing line which will be designed to fit all sorts of body types, so perhaps this issue will be addressed then.