Selfridges to launch ‘gender neutral’ shopping experience

Thursday, 29 January 2015
As the fashion industry continues to toy with the spectrum which encompasses gender identity, seen most recently during men’s fashion weeks catwalk shows, British department store group Selfridges has decided to take things one step further and is set to launch a ‘gender  neutral’  shopping experience.

Suitably named ‘Agender’ project, the retail concept is a new initiative, described as “a fashion exploration of the masculine, the feminine and the interplay…found in between,” by the department store group. The experience aims to give shoppers the freedom to “shop and dress without limitations or stereotypes,” to offer them “a space where clothing is no longer imbued with directive gender values, enabling fashion to exist as a purer expression of 'self'."

'Agender' to allow shoppers to 'dress without limitations'

Launching on March 12 at Selfridges’ London, Birmingham and Manchester stores, the new concept’s interior was created by furniture designer Faye Toogood. The department store group will also offer the designer’s ready-to-wear collection exclusively in the UK, as well as exclusive capsule collections from Bodymap, Nicola Formichetti, Underground and Rad Hourani made-to-order creations. Additional collections from Ann Demeulemeester, Comme des Garcons, Meadham Kirchhoff and Gareth Pugh will also be featured within the concept space.

The department store group will also feature unisex or ‘gender neutral’ beauty products and accessories side by side in the retail concept, displaying perfume next to shaving products. As part of the initiative, Selfridges will also readdress its window displays. Rather than using male and female mannequins for its windows, the department store group will showcase the concept using photography, film, music and design items which all explore ideas regarding gender, which can also be seen online on its website.

Linda Hewson, Selfridges’ creative director, explains how the Agender project “is not about harnessing a trend, but rather tapping into a mind-set and acknowledging and responding to a cultural shift that is happening now. The project will act as a test bed for experimentation around ideas of gender — both to allow our shoppers to approach the experience without preconceptions and for us as retailers to move the way we shop fashion forward."

The ‘Agender’ Project is set to run until the end of April.

Image: Selfridges London, Nicopanda by Nicola Formichetti

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