WHAT IS NON-BINARY FASHION?
Non-binary fashion is an alternative to classic fashion that most often offers women's collections and men's collections.
Non-binary fashion, definition
People who identify as non-binary refuse to be associated with the codes and characteristics that are usually associated with feminine and masculine genders. These characteristics are both mental (women are said to be gentle, nurturing, considerate, while men are silent, expressing themselves through action) and physical.
Non-binary fashion follows this logic. While classic fashion offers male and female pieces and models, non-binary fashion (also called androgynous, neutral, genderless / non-gendered mode / no gender / genderless , or even unisex fashion) adapts to the morphologies of all the bodies and break the codes. The choice is no longer motivated by gender but by taste. The goal ? Create an inclusive fashion style, without gender restrictions.
It's obvious but we'll say it again anyway: you can like non-binary fashion without being a non-binary person and you can appreciate “classic” fashion pieces while defining yourself as non-binary. A garment does not define us!
The challenges of non-binary fashion
Today, the majority of people associate certain clothing styles, certain pieces and certain colors with defined genders. For example, pink for girls, blue for boys, skirt for girls… This association is due to different factors such as habit, representations and History. For years, certain pieces have been reserved for certain genres. The law that forbade women to wear pants (only abolished in 2013) was thus called the law of “prohibition of cross-dressing”. It is thus difficult to dissociate certain pieces from the genre to which they are attached and we find ourselves making clothing choices due to our gender rather than our tastes!
The challenge of non-binary fashion is to break these codes. Non-binary fashion thus offers cuts that take into account morphology rather than sexual identity, in order to remove restrictions and allow everyone to wear what they want. It also has challenges in terms of representation and communication to create new associations and allow to see beyond genres!
NON-BINARY FASHION, THE LIMITS
Getting into non-binary fashion, as a brand, means facing different limits. It's first and foremost about having to find your place and offer an alternative in a universe, fashion, where binarity is the norm. Then it's about finding a style and cuts that stand out! And it is finally to manage to use a communication which touches and brings closer.
Integrating into a non-binary universe
More than fashion, consumer habits are also binary. When looking for pants, you look for “women's pants” or “men's pants”. As for sizes and patterns, they are designed according to the body, woman or man.
Going for a non-binary fashion brand therefore means questioning many habits in terms of communication and management!
It is :
- Imagine cuts and shape patterns that take into account morphology rather than sexual identity;
- Design a system of sizes in which all bodies are found while taking into account the particularities of each one!
- Communicate on your site other than by the usual Man / Woman: a large majority of fashion brands today divide their site into two parts, Women's collection and Men's collection.
- Imagine a different communication while taking into account that men and women are looking for words such as “women's pants”, “men's pants” because that's what they are used to doing!
- Accepting not to talk to everyone: asserting yourself as a non-binary fashion brand means asserting your convictions!
Choose your style
When it comes to fashion, non-binary is often associated with neutrality. Oversized cuts that suit all bodies, neutral colors that are not associated with any gender (grey, white, beige, black). This can be explained quite easily: these cuts and these colors, by their neutrality, make it possible not to deviate from the norm while adopting an androgynous style. As a brand, it also allows you not to assert yourself as non-binary and thus find your place more easily on the fashion chessboard.
This gave unisex fashion a neutral fashion image. Some would say boring, not us! Everyone has their own taste and style! However, more and more non-binary brands are moving away from neutrality and moving towards more assertive models and colors. It is not to displease us!
Find his words, his concepts, his speech
Communicating as a non-binary fashion brand is walking on a tightrope. It means finding a balance between our conviction – we need clothes for everyone! – and a reality: fashion is a very gendered universe where consumers consume in a very gendered way.
ADOPTS NON-BINARY FASHION AS A BRAND
When we created Houblon Platine, founding a brand with non-binary models was the main conviction that drove us. The ambition to create an ethical fashion brand , respectful of humans and the environment, was the second.
Why adopt non-binary fashion as a brand?
As a brand, we wanted to offer a non-binary interpretation of fashion, we wanted to move the lines. Conforming to the meanings of clothing—pink for girls, blue for boys—bored us and still does today. We observe that all this is changing and we want to support it by proposing a non-binary fashion brand.
What is adopting non-binary fashion as a brand?
Adopting non-binary fashion as a brand means making several choices.
(H4) Design: cuts and colors
The design (the choice of cuts and colors) is the first and most obvious choice when talking about non-binary fashion. It's about going to pieces that are not associated with men's or women's dressing rooms or, at least, transforming them. This also applies to colors. That's why we opted for overalls, a unisex piece that can be worn by men and women and whose marker is more social (associated with workers) than sexual.
Patronage is the step that gives life to a model. Beyond the cut, it is this step that allows the model to go to different morphologies. Patterning our models on men and women, to check how they behaved on all bodies, was an essential step!
When designing our site and our communication tools, no mention was made of male models and female models. We focus on the cuts (jumpsuit, jacket, overalls) and that's it!
Moreover, all our models are presented on women's bodies and men's bodies, so as to be able to project themselves according to their morphology.
The only mention Men / women is in the size guide to choose your wetsuit size.
Beyond offering photos of men and women wearing our models, we wanted to go a little further to show that we were a non-binary brand. For this, we have found in the person of Big Bertha, a drag queen, an ambassador of choice. We reaffirm with her our desire to break the codes and we love the values of tolerance carried by the art of Drag!
Last but not least: we want to communicate, as a non-binary fashion brand, about what non-binary fashion is and the issues it brings. This is exactly the subject of this article and it will certainly not be the last! We believe that fashion can only be enriched by new ways of thinking and dressing!
Non-binary fashion is a nice choice that we are happy to have made today with our Houblon Platine brand. This forces us to reinvent the way we consume fashion on a daily basis and to question it, and we love that!