FPI / February 4, 2020
The fashion industry should put an end to clothing that is designed specifically for men or women, a designer said.
“Gender neutrality is not the death of fashion — it is the renaissance of fashion,” Alok Vaid-Menon, who goes by Alok, said last month at the Business of Fashion’s annual “Voices” gathering in Great Britain.
Alok, an artist, designer and homosexual activist, called out the fashion industry’s “regressive” gender stereotypes and said designers should “de-gender” beauty.
According to the Business of Fashion website, “Voices is a completely different kind of fashion industry gathering. The Business of Fashion presents Voices as an annual invitation-only event bringing together the movers, shakers and trailblazers of the fashion industry and uniting them with the big thinkers, entrepreneurs and inspiring people who are shaping the wider world.”
Breitbart News’s Penny Starr reported that Alok at the “Voices” gathering encouraged companies to revise hiring structures and amplify trans and non-binary representation at a senior leadership level, stressing the need for a diverse range of genders, races, and sizes on runway shows and in campaigns — and “not just [in the] perfunctory Pride collections, which at this point are so unimaginative they feel positively homophobic.”
Alok, who prefers the gender-neutral pronoun “they,” revealed that “they” was once cut from a photo shoot by a major fashion publication after overhearing the photographer whisper to the editor, “Do you want the best photo, or do you want the politically correct photo?”
It is because of such dealings like that Alok called for the fashion industry at large to be held accountable for proliferating an archaic notion of beauty and what it means to be considered “high-fashion.”
Alok said: “They [sic] also reminded the global thought-leaders, executives and entrepreneurs in the audience of what representation shouldn’t look like: the notion that trans people are ‘newly in-fashion’ and the use of cis heterosexual models to promote gender neutral clothes in marketing campaigns and publications. My beauty is so tremendous it has to be edited out of magazines and movements… just to prove it does not exist, they [sic] said.”
Business of Fashion said the event highlighted “the beauty of transgender and non-binary people:”
Business of Fashion noted that Alok has “created and modeled three gender neutral collections over the past few years under their [sic] ‘namesake brand’ and he said it was time for fashion to ‘move beyond ‘gender-segregated stores and men’s magazines and women’s magazines.’ ”