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No Gender

When Alexis died, the actress Patricia Arquette lost her sister.

Julia Monnich

She had already lost her brother years before–when he became this sister. Radically, purposefully and by means of an operation, Alexis changed gender. But nowadays no one needs to go that far. Giving up the distinction between man/woman, playing with and slipping back and forth between genders is a major topic in fashion: Closed is developing genderless looks for women and men, Selfridges is trying out genderless departments, Mother Denim has launched a “gender neutral” section at its online shop, and US labels such as 1.61, Telfar and 69 no longer distinguish between man and woman. According to the business magazine Nikkei, in Japan friends and relatives coordinating their look is all the rage. More important than being a man or a woman is the statement that he/she belongs to me! Why are the most rudimentary categories such as man/woman no longer valid? What does that say about us? And most of all–what does it mean for the fashion industry?

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April 2017

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