veer nyc was born out of a deeply personal need. We'd both come off a bender of lusting over lower Manhattan's slew of menswear shops that, from the looks of 'em, suited us both well. We'd wander inside and sift through the racks looking for "our section." It was silly. They didn't exist. What was it about those crew-neck sweaters, wax-coated briefcases and contrast-pocket tees that was so masculine that we couldn't find them in our fit? If fashion is a reflection of the current social state of our culture, isn't it about time that the binary gender walls begin to fade away as well?
Androgyny is a term that can mean so many things, and we celebrate that. It can range from a purely aesthetic description to one more deeply rooted in one's identity. For both of us, our own evolutions and personal identities over the course of our lives have so obviously landed us into the current style we express. Regardless of where on the scale of internal vs. external androgyny you may be, you have to acknowledge that genderless clothing is a serious need.
Anyway, one morning we complained about it over brunch in a very self-pitying kind of way. As you do. However, that eventually led us to our lightbulb moment, when we realized that A) we aren't the only ones with this need, and B) if you want something badly enough, you just have to do it yourself.
We've spent the last year meeting with brands and designers from all over the country and the world! What we found was that so much of what we need is already out there. We just needed to bring it all into one destination and test it with our own needs and agenda. veer nyc has pulled from menswear, womenswear and unisex lines. Each piece we have curated has had its original intended gender stripped away and brought right back to the raw design, material and shape.
Our experience thus far has been incredibly inspiring. We've found that some menswear and womenswear lines have already considered androgyny but hadn't quite explored it as a market. After all, fashion is a business. Those who had not considered it yet quickly came to understand our aesthetic and opened their arms. One retailer has even reconsidered their marketing language after our connection! As with anything that is not a norm, education and action is the key to change. We know that with every person who is bold enough to walk out into the streets presenting themselves honestly and having conversations about their own androgyny, we begin to make waves of change.
Recently, more options for non-feminine apparel have popped up on the scene. In fact, it is so non-feminine that it all lies masculine of center. It's important, and it's very much needed, but there is still no solution for us who lie in the grey area, either by choice or by nature. Our mission with veer nyc is to offer the clothing and accessories that we need to feel comfortable and connected in body and in mind. On a surface level, that is easy. In the bigger picture, though, we are striving to change the face of the fashion world and make accurate personal, physical expression accessible.
veer nyc will be launching our fall/winter 2013 collection exclusively online this summer, with plans for a physical location in New York City shortly thereafter. We teased our collection last month at Kim Stolz and Amanda Leigh Dunn's The Dalloway during our first runway presentation. Honoring our home city, nine local NYC women (including us) walked in seven emerging brands from all over the world.
To learn more about veer nyc, visit veernyc.com.
Follow Jenny McClary on Twitter: www.twitter.com/veernyc