Will Every Runway Show Be Unisex in the Future?

Jessica Schiffer

For the last few years, brands have increasingly put on runway shows featuring both men and women, a trend that really ramped up in early 2015, amid a larger societal reckoning with both the transgender and agender communities. Now, with the S/S 17 menswear shows rolling out in full force, the phenomenon seems more common than ever, begging the question of whether or not it’s here to stay.

Part of this trend stems from the mainstream market’s growing interest in unisex dressing, which had early pioneers in designers like Rick Owens, Hedi Slimane, Rei Kawakubo, and Ann Demeulemeester. Now, newer designers like Shayne Oliver of Hood by Air and Rio Uribe of Gypsy Sport are following in their footsteps, sending out collections that don’t bow to strict gender ideals. “A show is about a mood and an archetype,” Oliver has explained to WWD. “It’s about something that doesn’t necessarily have to sit on a rack in general for men or women.”

But genders are coming together on the runways of more established luxury brands, too, including Gucci, Givenchy, Prada, and Giorgio Armani (to name a few). In the first case, it’s designer Alessandro Michele who has been a major proponent of blurring gender lines, often putting male and female models in similar pieces, like delicate pussy-bow blouses and colorful suiting.

Opening Image: John Phillips/Getty Images for GUCCI

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