When it comes to clothing, we want something that speaks to our expression, perpetuates our authenticity and just make us feel good and look good. As folks who say “fuck the binary” it can be a challenge to find clothes that align with who we are but look no further. Here I have provided you five genderless brands that see you for who you are and shake up the fashion industry:
1. Created by two women of color Stoney Michelli and Uzo Ejikeme in 2010. Their mission is “to create a space in the fashion world where all are welcome without judgment.” What I appreciate about Stuzo clothing is that it is founded by women of color and that they showcase folks of color in their marketing, which speaks to the representation piece that is often missing from fashion. I find their pieces to be bold. They have shirts with phrases such as they/them, shero, fem boi and box eater, which will surely bring about a conversation and showcases the boldness and vulnerability of those who choose to wear these statement pieces. Stuzo has proven that it is here to stay making their mark amongst celebrities who have worn their clothing. Stuzo is a brand that surely gives you New York vibes, and gives you a streetwear attitude while also making a political statement.
2. Gender Free World makes me feel really good about buying a button up, and it seems to be their specialty for adult clothing. I am constantly wanting to buy button ups, but never do because there’s always that huge hole (because I have a bigger chest). They size their clothes based on the sizing that we are typically used to like small or XL, but also intentionally consider body shapes. They have a tagline that states “we design for bodies” because honestly that’s what we should all be doing! Body shapes include A for Alex which provides more room for wider hips or larger bottoms. B for Billie for those like me with a much bigger bust. C for Charlie which is a classic cut with a loose fit. Lastly, D for Drew which is similar to the ‘men’s’ shirt cut, but still for all genders who feel most comfortable in this fit. GFW also has clothing for children, so that you can train them up young that gender is a social construct they do not have to abide by. Created by a group of folks with similar ideologies about clothing and gender, they do a great job of representing all types of bodies with their models as well as their clothing. They also believe in paying their workers fair wages, which is something I will always stand by.
3. Big Bud Press serves you some life in color, and I live! Priding themselves on creating “everyday rainbow wear,” their clothing is an ode to the rainbow flag. Created by designer Lacey Micallef after wanting to create a unisex clothing line that was not synonyms to creating something inherently masculine-of-center focused, their clothing truly embodies a plethora of items for all bodies and genders. Big Bud press is a small LA-based and sourced company that works to provide high quality and fair wages to its employees. They also offer interest-free installment payments split into 4 payments, so you can look fly even if you have a tight budget! However, remember to live life within in your means because the only person you have to keep up with is you. I am truly going to grab one of their jumpsuits because they look super fly, and it’s time for me to wear something other than black—or at least try!
4. Mini Friday is a black women-owned children’s gender-neutral boutique. I am 100% here for this because when we are young is when we really learn that gender expectations exist, and the freedom to walk into a store at a young age and just pick what you like sounds amazing! Allie Friday is the owner and mom behind Mini Friday, due to her daughter who was interested in all styles of clothing. This shop puts the ‘cool’ in cool kids with a streetwear aesthetic that is comfy and stylish. The boutique itself also has a play area for children who are not interested in looking through the racks of clothing—it’s essentially where fun meets style!
5. Cilium is all about creating clothing that grows with you and your style. They understand that you do not exist in a monolith and your clothes should keep up with your changes of expression. Designed by Tilly d Wolfe, “with a philosophy that celebrates and explores innovation, transformability, and gender non-exclusivity.” Cilium clothing seems to be made for movement offering a loose, but stylish fit that will call in the crowd as you move.
I appreciate all the work that these designers are doing to change the fashion world. There is still much work to be done that continues to push the envelope of including various body types and shades of folks as well as a push to breaking down the belief that gender neutral is or has to be masculine-of-center focused. However, I feel good knowing that there are some people out here working to eliminate false gender expectations in society.
Cover photo: Instagram, @stuzoclothing