LONDON — With all the blurring of gender lines on the men’s fall runways, Selfridges is set to match that mood with a gender neutral shopping experience.
From March 12, the store’s Agender project will launch as “a fashion exploration of the masculine, the feminine and the interplay…found in between,” the store said, adding that it aims to “take…customers on a journey where they can choose to shop and dress without limitations or stereotypes.”
The project will span the ground, first and second floors of the retailer’s Oxford Street store here and will also showcase spaces in Selfridges’ Manchester and Birmingham stores and on its Web site. The retailer commissioned interior and furniture designer Faye Toogood to create the concept spaces, and the store will also carry Toogood’s ready-to-wear collection exclusively in the U.K.. Among the unisex lines in the store — many exclusive to Selfridges in the U.K. — will be a capsule collection by Bodymap; the U.K. launch of Nicola Formichetti’s collection Nicopanda; a collection from footwear label Underground, and Rad Hourani’s made to order couture designs. Designs by labels including Ann Demeulemeester, Comme des Garcons, Meadham Kirchhoff and Gareth Pugh will also feature in the lineup.
As part of the project, Selfridges will do away with male and female mannequins in its windows, with the store instead dressing the windows with fashion in a non gender-specific way. Photography, film, music and design pieces exploring the idea of gender will be on display in the stores and on Selfridges’ Web site.
Linda Hewson, Selfridges’ creative director, said the Agender project “is not about harnessing a trend, but rather tapping into a mind-set and acknowledging and responding to a cultural shift that is happening now. The project will act as a test bed for experimentation around ideas of gender — both to allow our shoppers to approach the experience without preconceptions and for us as retailers to move the way we shop fashion forward.”
The project will run through the end of April.