LGBT – As gender traditional stereotypes are dissolving, genderless design goes beyond restrictive binary categorisation. We collected 7 influential trend arbiters in fashion, interior design, beauty, furniture and technology.
- RELATED STORIES: discover more LGBT-related design and architecture on Archipanic…
BEAUTY – Gender-neutral beauty is having its moment. Aesop is a pioneer in that: its beautiful skincare products come in dark bottles with black and white label focusing only on what the product does for you. Such neutral packaging choice proves that founding a skincare range on shared attitudes and values, instead of gender ideals, can lead to a brand with enduring and universal relevance.
While running a men’s skincare business, founder of Non Gender Specific, Andre Glass realized how segregated the beauty industry had become. “We are a brand for all humans, regardless of gender, skin tone or skin type. At NGS we hope to promote less consumer waste by creating multifunctional products through innovative formulations that are both natural and inclusive.”
TECHNOLOGY – Today, bot voices like Siri or Alexa allow you to opt whether you want to interact with a male or female speaker. With the aim to eradicate bias in technology, Virtue, the creative agency born from VICE, has partnered with Copenhagen Pride to develop Q, the world’s first genderless voice. “Q represents not the voice of one, but the voice of many who are fighting for a future inclusive of everyone.” Say Ryan Sherman and Emil Asmussen from VIRTUE Nordics.
FURNITURE – Dutch designer Gabriel Maher has created De_sign . The Act of sitting, a chair and a garment that moves in concert with the sitter whether their posture reads as man or woman. The cultural contrast and stereotype that still exists between differently gendered bodies in the same sitting position is noted as a starting point. “The interaction seeks to reduce the gendered signification of these positions and reveal them as constructed vocabularies of movement,” says the designer.
Danish brand Ferm Living launched The Nordic-inspired Toro Play Kitchen which comes with a wooden gender-neutral colour palette “to invite both boys and girls to practice their cooking skills and to make up new, fanciful recipes.” The kitchen features a cooking stove, a sink and space to store utensils. “It takes up little space, allows for the childish imagination to run free, and with its neutral colour-palette it blends in”.
PLEASURE – Start-up company Maude has created Sex Essentials, a gender-neutral range of sex products with a minimalist design that does away with gendered pink and blue tones – opting instead for hues ranging from off-white to brown. Developed by Eva Goicochea and Dina Epstein, the collection includes two lubricants, a pack of condoms, a vibrator and a travel kit.
FASHION & RETAIL – “Everything is for everyone,” says Vogue America editor in chief Anna Wintour commenting on how fashion designers are exploring sexual identity in a very free way. “Talking to some of the department stores it emerged that maybe menswear and womenswear doesn’t have to be separated anymore. What we see on the runway should be reflected in the stores themselves. We need to embrace not only all cultures but also sexual identities.”
Phluid Project, the first gender-free retail space has recently opened in Manhattan, New York. Clothing is divided by aesthetic, with labels like Gypsy Sport, Oak, Dr Martens, and more sitting next to Phluid’s in-house brand. Products are styled out on custom-built genderless display mannequins while fitting rooms are open-to-all. A calendar of events focusing on sexual identities and activism aims to transform the retail venue into a free meeting space for community-based organizations.