Q&A WITH FAYE TOOGOOD
What does 'agender' mean to you?
Agender literally means 'without gender', but it also suggests a plan of action or an ideological goal. This projects sets out an agenda to move fashion forward and to reflect the realities of the way we live now.
Tell us about the space you've designed in store. How did you go about creating an atmosphere of gender neutrality?
The spaces are based on the idea of stripping away the artifice of commerce and marketing: they are designed in the shape of houses, to suggest a domestic space as opposed to the impersonality of a retail space, and rendered in steel mesh to add transparency. All of the garments are presented in pared-down, uniform packaging to free them from the preconceptions that would ordinarily colour such purchases.
Why do you think this campaign feels right for now?
We are increasingly aware that gender is not a simple binary, yet clothing is still marketed along those lines. You only have to look at the preponderance of the 'pink is for girls' mentality in children's departments to see how the choices we make when buying clothing can reinforce artificial gender roles.
In fashion, the line between genders is becoming increasingly ambiguous. Why do you think this is?
Fashion is an industry that prides itself on being ahead of the curve, so naturally it's important that it keeps pace with the progress we are seeing in society as a whole. The blurring of gender distinctions also gives designers greater freedom, with a much broader range of forms and silhouettes to explore.
What have you enjoyed most about this project?
It's about creating a blank slate to explore the way we think about what we wear. To me, it feels exciting to be at the forefront of something that could fundamentally change the way people present themselves through clothing.
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