Unisex fashion has steadily become more of a recognized movement and the newly formed You Do You web portal hopes to launch more agender awareness into the public sphere. The platform counts on bringing both producers and consumers together to discuss and view original digital content that strays away from confining binaries. Fashion, lifestyle, and culture are all explored and dissected with appealing editorials, interviews, and features aiming to contribute exciting inspiration to the masses. We interviewed editor-in-chief, Kristiina Wilson, about the new site, agender culture, and the need to spread the message of candid inclusiveness.
How did “You Do You” project come to fruition?
YDY started as an inherently selfish germ of an idea – I’ve always incorporated menswear into my wardrobe, but found the process arduous because I don’t like having to go to a million different stores to put together an outfit. I noticed that there were web platforms for men’s and women’s fashion separately, but nothing that put the genders together, or more importantly, demolished the barrier between them completely. Why do we have gender based, assigned types of clothing? Why can’t we all just wear cool pieces that we like without worrying about who they are “for”? Won’t getting dressed be more fun if we can mix and match from all of our friends’ closets? Basically, I wanted to start a site where I could find new, interesting fashion on a mix of different types of people, and be able to wear any of it. So together with Logan Jackson, YDY’s Creative Director, and Casey Geren, our Managing Editor, the site was born.
Why did you think it was important to talk about agender/genderlessness through the lens of fashion and beauty?
Well no matter how we identify, we all have to wear something! Why not make sure it’s interesting?
Honestly, it just seems strange NOT to talk about agender/genderlessness via fashion and beauty. We all get up and put clothes on in the morning and have some kind of grooming routine. The rules we have had in place for so long in traditional fashion/beauty publications just seem irrelevant now – we can do a story on blush for men, or buzz cuts for women, or just people wearing dangly earrings and you have no idea what gender they are. Gender as a construct doesn’t necessarily matter at this point in terms of actual fashion and products — everyone has the freedom to decide what they want to purchase, use and wear. And that’s great!
What are the goals you hope to accomplish with the “You Do You” platform?
YDY began as an exercise in collating unisex fashion online, but expanded to include even more important topics of gender and body politics. Until very recently, fashion has been rigidly binary, and my editors and I noticed that there weren’t very many online portals to help people who were interested in transitioning, being gender fluid, or just being ok with themselves in their own bodies, know where to start, fashion wise. As we expand, we will provide guides and a safe space for everyone to explore what they are into – whoever they are and however they identify — along with profiles of well known figures who have been there. We also want to give a platform to people that are doing cool things in fashion/art and with gender, as well as just getting more people into some really amazing clothes they might have otherwise overlooked.
Why do you think there’s been a push for “genderless” clothing in fashion and do you find it’s genuine or just a trend?
I think it’s genuine. From a bottom line perspective, companies can theoretically reach a wider audience going unisex than binary, but I think gender free fashion is also reflective of a younger, more modern customer whose feelings about themselves and their looks change day to day. That said, of course there will always be a place for gendered fashion — I don’t think anyone is expecting it to go anyway entirely, nor should it. I’m not advocating for some kind of futuristic society where everyone is walking around in the same grey shapeless tunic – just more options for everyone, should they want them. Who doesn’t want more options?
What excites you about fashion?
Right now, everything! :)