Genderflux, isn’t just about the apparel they’re going to sell, which by the way, won’t have style names that make people feel they’re specifically designed for men or women. They want to create a space for gender-variant and non-binary individuals to express themselves, to get people talking about identity, to declare that everyone’s existence is valid and uniquely beautiful, to spread the word that gender is just a social construct.
To introduce their clothing line and campaign, the Atlanta-based gender-fluid fashion blogger, Elliot Alexzander started with a crop of expressive t-shirts sold through Kickstarter. Now in part three of the campaign, Alexzander partnered with SCAD fashion graduate Michael Robinson as lead designer to create a 19-piece collection of threads to what else? Break the binary.
While gender-fluidity in fashion is no longer a brand new concept, non-binary designers designing fashion-forward clothing, creating spaces getting credit for creating them was fairly new to the fashion industry since last year. Obviously the idea that people who identify as gender-variant or fluid is not a fad, and it’s high time brands started acknowledging them as consumers.
We got the opportunity to chat with Alexzander and Robinson about body positivity in fashion, how the acceptance of gender identity is progressing, and icons who are smashing the traditional binary image.
What inspired Genderflux?
The original inspiration was about myself, being able to find clothes that I enjoyed wearing, fit my body right and didn’t give me the impression to conform to a gender norm. That is when I realized that a fashion brand or label doesn’t truly exist, but also, I was not the only one who desired such a brand. So, I created GenderFlux.
How do you think the concept of identity has evolved in just the past few years and how do you think it will it continue to evolve?
E: In the past few years Trans identities has really taken a spotlight. In my opinion, this is great because it has opened the door to get people talking about gender identity in general. In the future, I hope the discussion of gender continues and people begin to understand key things like the importance of asking for a person’s’ pronouns when you aren’t sure. I hope that through GenderFlux, people will begin to understand that developing a personal style is more beneficial to one’s growth and self-exploration than trying to conform your style in a way that fits the binary gender norms.
M: The amazing thing is that people are beginning to understand that their identity is something that they create and not something that can be determined by anyone but them. It’s really quite amazing if you think about it. Within the past few years we have allowed same-sex couples to marry. We have major celebrities that are coming out as gay, lesbian and even trans. I think we, as humans, are making massive leaps forward, and only hope that we continue to progress.
Does the fashion industry have a role in celebrating diverse body images? How does Genderflux help celebrate body positivity?
E: Absolutely, in fact I feel it is very important that the industry celebrate diverse body image. Fashion is how we express ourselves on the outside. It is the first thing that anyone ever notices about you. There should be options for everyone. GenderFlux celebrates body positivity by having a range of models that are of different shapes, sizes and color. But also, if our crowdfunding campaign is funded, we can invest in having an expert create a sizing formula that will aid us in making our clothes available to individuals with all types of bodies.
M: Honestly, I think it’s delivery. Most non-binary or gender-variant fashion is marketed in a way that is really quite specific. It tends to cater to a really particular sector of a much larger market which is not truly representative of the entire spectrum of what non-binary fashion could be. At Genderflux, we try and make it a point to consider every kind of individual when we design. Not only the non-binary community but everyone.
Who are some of your favorite icons that are inspiring change through fashion?
E: I have a lot of icons who I feel are inspiring the right kind of change such as Laverne Cox or Andreja Pejic. When it comes to creating change through fashion, I honestly don’t have any. The kind of change I want to see in fashion is walking into a mall, and every store is vacant of men’s or women’s sections, plus size/petite sections don’t exist and the shopping experience is focused around the individual, not society’s idea of what that individual should look like.
M: Right now someone who we love at #GENDERFLUX is Ruby Rose. Ruby is exposing to everyone that it is okay to blur that line of masculine and feminine. And doing so can be hot! I mean did you see Ruby at this year’s GLAAD awards? Absolutely stunning.
Maybe it’s a certain esthetic or maybe it’s more exclusivity? What specifically do you feel is missing from fashion or what do people get wrong about non-binary fashion and variant-gender fashion?
People expect to see clothing like they have never seen before, but that is not non-binary fashion. Truly gender-free fashion is about removing the idea that a certain style, type of clothing, color of cloth or cut of fabric represents the kind of person it should be worn by. So imagine a dress, but imagine that dress being worn by men, women, curvy people, short people, tall people, disabled people etc. But also imagine the dress in a way that was constructed to fit that person’s body type. So in theory, you have the same design of clothing, constructed slightly differently for each body type so that it fits and looks appropriate for that person’s body type. So the dress might be a little longer for tall sizes, the dress might also be tailored for breast or the lack thereof, or the dress may be configured for curvy body types.
M: Honestly I think it’s delivery. Most non-binary or gender-variant fashion is marketed in a way that is really quite specific. It tends to cater to a really particular sector of a much larger market which is not truly representative of the entire spectrum of what non-binary fashion could be. At Genderflux, we try and make it a point to consider every kind of individual when we design. Not only the non-binary community but everyone.
You’re in part 3 of your campaign which is crowdfunding. What’s next with Genderflux? What will that launch be like?
E: Depending on the success of our crowd funder, we hope to launch a collection of 15 pieces for sale on GenderFlux.com. The name of the collection is “Elementals” and the names for each piece have been inspired by an element that we feel represents each piece. We did this as to avoid giving a title to a garment that someone might perceive as only for men or only for women. This was a way for us to be creative with the names of each piece, but also give us something to go on when further creating and adding new stuff to the brand.
M: The next phase for us is production. We are currently working with manufacturers to see where is really going to be a good fit. We are so excited about the amount of support we have received thus far and hope that support keeps coming.
GenderFlux says they are aiming to launch their collection in late summer or fall. Follow their campaign at IndieGogo.