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The concept of gender neutrality aims

to make obsolete gender specific terminology.

It anticipates societal transition towards non-gender alignment language,

as a step towards the elimination of gender-based bias and stereotypes.

In acknowledging the importance of  gender equality, generally

and gender neutrality, specifically-

Sweden announced last week the introduction of

a gender neutral pronoun to the Swedish language.

Each decade, the Swedish Academy modernises the language

according to new word relevance and usage.

In addition to the Swedish subject pronouns:

he (han) and she (hon)

the gender- neutral subject pronoun hen

will be listed in dictionaries as of April 2015.

In recent years,  world wide awareness of gender neutrality initiatives

have gained momentum with fashion creatives as

pioneering force in furthering the concept.

Inventive designers such as Yohji Yamamoto and the trio from Sibling

are known to create gender non-specific garments,

which combine  masculine and feminine dress/style elements.

(images from style.com):

gender neutral, yohji yamamoto, fall 2015

by Yohji Yamamoto, a/w 2015

gender neutral fashion, sibling fall 2015

by Sibling, a/w 2015

Within the fashion world,

the idea of gender non-specificity has been given an additional boost.

Selfridge & Co., the high-end U.K. department store

now offers an experience of gender neutral  shopping.

The new pop-up department is called Agender.

(photos by meappropriatestyle):

agender, defintion, image

Agender defined

Agender shopping is a particular response to a perspective

of gender as non-binary.

Within this definition, gender classification is self determined,

thereby fluid and open to a myriad of interpretives.

agender, he, she ,me

The Agender Campaign

the doing away with traditional labels of gender classification

At Selfridges London, Oxford Street

the Agender space was conceived by

British furniture and object designer Faye Toogood.

The experience starts from store entrance.

For the first time in Selfridges’ history, since opening in 1909,

there are no male or female mannequins in the window displays.

Garments are draped or hung on hanging units,

placed on shelving or laid across furniture pieces.

agender, selfridge London, window display

agender, selfridge london, window display

agender, selfridge london, window display

agender, selfridge london, window displayagender, selfridge london,window display

Agender window displays

Selfridge London- Oxford Street

In-store, the Agender department is situated over two floors.

Clothing and accessories are showcased in the same manner

as the window displays:  without indication of  gender reference.

agender, instore display, selfridge londonagender, instore display, selfridge londonagender, instore display, selfridge london

Agender in-store display

Selfridge London- Oxford Street

The idea is to liberate shoppers from traditional notions of

 gender-focus dress stereotypes and to encourage

shopping for pieces that are of a desired sartorial objective.

“It was a concept spawned from Selfridges’ buyers’ realisation that men and women were moving away from their allocated areas and venturing into those designated to the opposite sex …  (and)  beginning to select aspects from one another, be it shoes, accessories or clothing.”  (from The Telegraph, U.K.)

The Agender project features unisex clothing from

over 40 labels to including among others

Ann Demeulemeester, Comme des Garcons,

Meadham Kirchhoff and Gareth Pugh.

The pop-up shop is staffed by knowledgeable individuals

who expertly field customer queries on the fashion and retail philosophy

which informs the Agender scheme.

agender staff member, paolo casseb

Paolo Casseb

staff member at the Agender Project

The Agender campaign is recognition that gender definition is changing.

It is not simply a biological determinant, but one of mindset.

Gender neutral shopping may today be a temporary pop-up experience,

but seems set to be the future of fashion retail.

For additional details on the Agender campaign visit:

http://www.selfridges.com/content/article/coming-soon-agender

The Agender campaign at Selfridges & Co

until end April, 2015