BLURRING THE LINES: British brands and retailers are showing support for their customers beyond the traditional categories seen in retail. They are trying to promote inclusivity and avoid reinforcing gender stereotypes.
Topshop and Topman, which are housed under one roof at the Oxford Circus flagship, have made their fitting rooms gender-neutral. The high street retailer said its changing room policy is a reflection of the company’s commitment to inclusivity. A company spokeswoman said: “All Topshop and Topman customers are free to use any of the fitting rooms located within our stores.”
Meanwhile, Asos has teamed with GLAAD — an LGBTQIA organization — on a unisex collection. The eight-piece range consists of T-shirts, hoodies, totes and jewelry done in a rainbow motif and is available for purchase on Asos.com. Prices range from 8 pounds for a ring to 30 pounds for a hoodie, with part of the proceeds from each sale benefiting the LGBTQIA rights organization’s Together campaign. The high street e-tailer has also tapped the actor Tommy Dorfman from “13 Reasons Why,” the Netflix series about teenage suicide; Adam Eli, and Richie Shazam to star in the campaign.
Elsewhere, department stores have embraced the gender-neutral path and extended their unisex offerings. Last month, John Lewis said that the retailer’s in-house children’s wear collection would not be distinguished by gender. In 2015, Selfridges unveiled Agender, a concept space with a genderless offering across accessories, beauty and fashion.