Story by Ledjen Haase
Photos by Isaac Janssen, Amber Ritschel and Jordan Prather
What is genderless fashion?
It's the freedom to fully express yourself through clothing with disregard to labels. A growing cultural shift, genderless fashion challenges what we consider to be “masculine” or “feminine." This revolution in the fashion industry is impacting the way we see and wear clothing, allowing clothing to not be delineated to a specific gender.
Increasingly, more designers in the industry, such as Gucci and Christian Siriano, are starting to dress male models in womenswear and vice versa to erase the gender-specific generalizations we make, not only on clothing but also on people.
More celebrities are enforcing the changing gender narratives, such as actor Billy Porter and musician Harry Styles, who are inspiring our understanding of masculinity through their genderless red-carpet style.
In 2019, Porter talked about his fashion on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
“Women wearing pants is powerful, it's strong, everybody accepts it, and it's associated with the patriarchy. It's associated with being male," Porter said. "The minute a man puts on a dress it's disgusting. So what are you saying? Men are strong, women are disgusting. I'm not doing that anymore. I'm done with that. I'm a man in a dress, and if I feel like wearing a dress, I'm going to wear one."
When fashion goes genderless, it brings attention to the LGBTQ* community. Diversity and inclusion should not be a for-profit trend, but a natural consideration in all areas of society.
The KRNL fashion team’s goal for this photoshoot is to spread the normalization of genderless labels and support mainstream acceptance of gender identities that may still seem unfamiliar to some. The eradication of gender-specific dressing helps to redefine how we traditionally view genders and categorization. Part of being “unfiltered” is to not alter your truth based upon the perception of others.
To execute our vision, the styling team utilized three vendors: The Domestic, Target, and Pops Resale. Each of these vendors provides a spectrum of clothing that enforces the blurring of gender labels. In every outfit, we incorporated masculine and feminine details with a mixture of loose- or tight-fitting silhouettes to represent the wide range of styles you can create when ignoring gender characterizations.
Our genderless approach is intended to support the freedom of expressing the honest version of yourself through whatever you put on and to not succumb to the stereotypes of “men’s” and “women’s” clothing.