FASHION’S FUTURE IS GENDER FLUID
Harry Styles & Gucci
COVER ART: JULIANNA LUKACS
In December of 2020, Harry Styles became the first man to ever appear solo on the cover of Vogue. He also happened to be wearing a striking sky blue lace Gucci gown.
Many touted Styles as a revolutionary, some were appalled by him, and others questioned why he was the man chosen to be at the forefront; trans femmes and drag queens of color have been sporting comparable dresses for years.
The cover surely sparked controversy, but it simultaneously emphasized the bright future we are headed toward. Instances like these normalize self expression, gender fluidity, creativity, artistry, and experimentation. "I’ll go in shops sometimes, and I just find myself looking at the women’s clothes thinking they’re amazing," says Styles. "It’s like anything—anytime you’re putting barriers up in your own life, you’re just limiting yourself. There’s so much joy to be had in playing with clothes." According to Page Six, the issue was such a sellout success that Vogue sold 40,000 subscriptions after the launch, and had to rush to run a second print.
Fashion is all about what’s next, and how we can challenge norms in society and culture. Dozens of brands and designers have proven that there is a huge market for gender fluid fashion, and as the most valuable global luxury brand of 2020, Gucci is one of the leaders.
Inspired by Alessandro Michele’s men’s wear designs for Gucci, The MX Project was born in July of 2020. The luxury fashion house’s genderless line is “set out to deconstruct preconceived binaries and question how these concepts relate to our bodies”, according to the brand’s website. The collection reflects how many consumers style Gucci merchandise, including icons like Jared Leto, Billie Eilish, and Harry Styles—presenting masculinity and femininity as relative concepts.
According to Harvard Business Review, globally, 25% of Gen Zers expect to change their gender identity at least once during their lifetime. Gucci notes that Gen Zers have also contributed to 62% of the brand’s $8 billion in sales in 2019, proving that there is a huge market for gender fluid fashion.
Michele connected with Styles in 2014, and has been styling him ever since. “He’s really in touch with his feminine side because it’s something natural,” notes Michele. “And he’s a big inspiration to a younger generation—about how you can be in a totally free playground when you feel comfortable”.
Like everything in our world, the way we dress ourselves is evolving. The concept of gender is becoming less and less important as we decide how we want to adorn our bodies. Women used to dress for men, and now men want to dress like women. A dress exudes confidence, beauty, and poise – it doesn’t matter what's underneath.