A new video from i-D is taking a look at a group of Japanese youth who are embracing the trend of genderless fashion in their lives.
The video features each individual sharing a personal narrative of their own journey to embrace fashion beyond binary gender terms, and what the idea of genderless fashion means to them.
“I saw this Korean model on a shopping channel, and I really liked him. He was really cool,” one participant in the video shares. “It wasn’t until later that I realized she was a girl. I really admired her, and that’s how I got into fashion. I don’t mind people calling me a ‘genderless’ girl. In fact, I’m happy that they do.”
Other people in the video reflect on their own experiences navigating the world as people who present their fashion in a genderless way. The story of one person intersects with issues of homophobia, and people assigned male at birth violating codes of masculinity.
“When I wear tight trousers, they sometimes call me ‘faggot’ or they say ‘isn’t he gross?’ as I walk past,” they say. “But if you care about other people’s opinion you become boring, so I’d rather stand out and be different.”
While this video captures a specific moment in time for a group of people embracing genderless fashion in Japan, the trend of genderless fashion is not necessarily new. HuffPost’s 2015 series “FABRICATIONS” explored American fashion designers whose work transcends binary notions of gender in their fashion designs.
Japan also has a historical relationship with gender that transcends the male/female binary, with the country embracing a “third gender” option in the 17th century called “wakashu” prior to Western intervention into their culture.