Instead of producing a men’s and women’s line as it has done in the past, WeSC, which stands for We Are the Superlative Conspiracy, will now offer one, gender-neutral collection.
“Although we’ve done women’s collections, people think of us as a men’s streetwear line,” said Joseph Janus, WeSC’s chief executive officer. “We find that men and women are attracted to the same styles and when they come to WeSC they aren’t looking for something that’s ultrafeminine. They are looking for streetwear.”
Starting with spring 2018, the Swedish company will present one unified collection with an expanded size range internationally. The line will consist of eight different sizes for men and women and a garment tag will show the conversion. For example, a men’s small is a women’s extra small, and both are a size 3. Janus said the smaller sizes are proportioned for a woman’s body. Right now the garment neck tags feature a size conversion chart to educate the consumer, but eventually the brand hopes to replace traditional sizing with their numerical system.
Janus said women’s only makes up 10 percent of WeSC’s sales in the U.S., but its stores do have spaces dedicated to the category. Going forward the flagships will have a gender-neutral, not unisex, layout.
“The word unisex reminds me of an Eighties hair salon that does men’s and women’s hair,” said Janus. “Genderless is more of a movement. It’s something that will mean different things to different people.”
Many men’s brands have looked to the women’s category as a means to grow, but Janus believes there is more opportunity to expand with one collection.
“You can service everyone with each stockkeeping unit,” said Janus. “It’s a much more economical way to do it and it’s a way to evolve your customer. If a customer walks into a store and sees a piece of men’s wear and they like it, now they have a size that fits them. I think it’s going to help us gain business.”
WeSC has spent the past two years transitioning into a premium contemporary brand. It’s currently carried at retailers including Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue. Janus will show the new collection to buyers later this month, but he doesn’t believe the shift to genderless will impact his wholesale partnerships.
“There hasn’t been a retailer that I talked to beforehand that didn’t love this idea,” said Janus. “And because of our sizing system, I don’t think it will make much of a difference. But it starts to open up the conversation and I believe in the future there will be more genderless departments.”
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