How Back Office Decisions Make of Break Gender Inclusive Apparel Collections

“In recent years, the runway has shifted from a gatekeeping exclusive experience to more of a gate opening, an all-inclusive one,” said Danny Goldstein, Fashion Snoops women’s wear strategist, in a recent webinar. “More than ever before and increasing year after year, we see nonbinary and transgender models featured alongside cisgender models on the runway. This brings proper representation of marginalized communities to the fore.”

Fashion month not only shines a spotlight on the next trends, fits and colors, but the globetrotting event also offers insight into how the industry is becoming more gender-inclusive. Rob Smith, founder and CEO of The Phluid Project, a brand designing fashion and accessories beyond gender constraints, said he’s seen a 30 percent increase in searches with gender-neutral terms and a 50 percent rise in press mentions with the word genderless. “Almost 60 percent of Gen Z shops across gender lines,” he told attendees Tuesday at New York City’s 2022 CEO Summit, a joint conference run by the Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the Retail Leaders Circle. “This number is staggering: almost a quarter of Gen Zers expect to change their identity at least once in their lifetime. So gender is becoming very fluid for young people.”

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