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A growing list of genderless fashion labels in Australia

IMAGE VIA SKODIA

Words by Isabelle Sacks

The future of fashion is unisex. 

The demand for genderless fashion is increasing as we embrace the fluidity of gender more and more as a society. With so many experiences of gender out there, why should we be relegated to clothes that conform to such a limited binary of menswear and womenswear?

Of course, the blurring of gender lines is nothing new in fashion. What is somewhat new is our wider societal conversations about gender identity and expression, and our greater understanding of the arbitrary and often harmful effects of a rigid male/female divide. 

Whether you’re leaning into your androgynous side or feel genuinely uncomfy in clothes that reinforce the gender binary, you deserve the best local, sustainable, ethically produced pieces out there, and hopefully, this list helps you find them.

People who aren’t cisgender are often overlooked by the mainstream fashion industry, so investing in brands like these can be a powerful way to vote with your dollars, too.

Just a quick note: fashion tends to throw around ‘genderless’, ‘gender neutrality’, ‘androgyny’ and ‘unisex’ somewhat interchangeably (which I’ve definitely done here), but I just want to acknowledge that these can mean quite different things. For my purposes, these terms serve to signify that the clothes are designed to be inclusive of all gender identities and expressions.

U by Nique

 

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Melbourne label Nique has always had a monochromatic, androgynous-leaning aesthetic, but still wanted to put a stamp on a dedicated genderless range with its U capsule collection of lifestyle pieces. Ranging from sharply tailored pieces to relaxed knitwear, it’s clear that there has been a lot of thought put into the construction of garments so that they’ll fit any gender without being shapeless. Consistent with the Nique design ethos, the unisex collection marries non-exclusive function with elevated basics that suit all aspects of everyday life. There are also a few outrageously fun items in there too, like this insanely good rose bronze jacket.

Get it here.

Best Jumpers

 

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Founded in Melbourne in 2018 by Australian designer Dylan Best, Best Jumpers offers elevated unisex casual wear. Best’s range of Japanese cotton tracksuits might be the main attraction, but there are some great skirts, parkas, T-shirts and hats on offer that deserve all the love too. The brand takes a minimal and relaxed attitude to fashion, with influence being drawn from Best’s hometown of Melbourne and his time spent in New York. Using the highest quality fabrics and local production, Best Jumpers epitomises quality and attention to detail. I also feel like I have to mention that there are tops with wombats on them, just in case anyone out there is as excited about that as I am.

Get it here.

Sködia

 

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Sködia is an independent Australian bred, NYC and LA-based label built on the forefront of the slow fashion movement by prioritising local production and functionality. It is a non-gender specific brand specialising in super wearable pieces with a unique fabrication that can be worn together in a uniform mentality. The brand’s signature revolves around a slightly oversized, comfort-first aesthetic (sweatshirts, boxy jackets) that fit a wide variety of bodies. But the label doesn’t shy away from traditionally feminine spaghetti-strap singlets or slip dresses either. The fit is key here – all its bottoms have an elastic waistband with a sizeable waist tie to account for varying weight distributions in all genders, sizes and ages.

Get it here.

HoMie

 

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Melbourne-based streetwear label HoMie not only produces comfortable and quality apparel, but it also sends 100 per cent of its profits to support young people affected by homelessness or hardship across Australia. The brand is gender-neutral (you’ll find its core range packed with colourful hoodies), and every item is ethically produced in Melbourne. The clothes certainly stand on their own two feet, serving up a mix of bold streetwear looks alongside more subdued, easy-to-wear pieces, but knowing that the money is going towards employment, training opportunities, and new clothing to people experiencing homelessness makes it all that much better.

Get it here.

Ten Pieces

 

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This androgynous streetwear label draws on influences from punk to modern sportswear to serve up contemporary outfitting in a unique and accessible way. The clothes are confident, often over-sized, quite muted – but absolutely never boring. Launched in 2011, Ten Pieces is a collaboration between partners Maurice Terzini and Lucy Hinckfuss alongside designer Allan Marshall and a selection of artistic collaborators. Sydney and Melbourne will know Terzini well for his vast legacy in both cities’ food culture (can we say Icebergs Bondi, anyone?). The look is very ‘Terzini’ – the kind of easygoing but directional style that you see the floor staff at some of his establishments wearing.

Get it here.

A.BCH

 

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A.BCH gets major props for its role as a truly pioneering circular fashion label (as it should), but it also gets credit for doing away with its gendered sections in-store and online. A.BCH is an independent Melbourne fashion label founded on total transparency in an effort to provide honestly engineered fashion for conscious consumers. From sourcing sustainable fibres, threads and components to advocating for local manufacturing, A.BCH considers the entire lifecycle of each piece it makes. Designed for the discerning eye and those with a fondness for a neutral aesthetic, A.BCH’s offering is a line of earth elevated basics. The label doesn’t have men’s or women’s sections on its website and the designs are not overtly masculine or feminine, but Courtney Holm does design with gender in mind.

Get it here.

Lonely Kids Club

 

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Warwick Levy is the founder of Sydney fashion label Lonely Kids Club (LKC), a fully independent label that prides itself on being gender-neutral and ethically produced. Street style comfort, positive mental health and sloths is the vibe for this label. LKC prides itself on a fully inclusive unisex range filled with pop culture quirks. It offers fun graphic t-shirts, funky patterned jackets, dresses and jumpers – not to mention dedicated social distancing, Bob Ross and Danny Devito collections (obsessed). It also ensures fair labour practices and small batch production to provide quality products that we can feel good about purchasing.

Get it here.

Kodama

 

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Kodama is a sustainable, unisex streetwear brand designed and made in Melbourne. Started by designer Natsuko, who is originally from Japan but grew up in Australia, the apparel is inspired by Melbourne’s culture, excellent coffee and fashion scene. Kodama specialises in basics made from certified organic cotton and outerwear, with a range of overcoats crafted from eco-friendly materials. The clothing is generally neutrally coloured, with a few bright T-shirts, so it’s great for stocking up on sustainable wardrobe staples.

Get it here.

Genkstasy

Formed in 2017, Genkstasy is a multi-gendered fashion label, working to cater to all the beautiful bodies on the gender spectrum, using sustainable fabrics and ethical practices. Having felt the isolation many of us suffer from feeling ‘other’, the founders were inspired to create a fashion label that focuses on bringing colour and connectedness to people’s lives. A big part of the design ethos is the consideration of how the garments will perform in states of play, movement, freedom and joy. 

Get it here.

Strateas Carlucci

 

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Androgyny-forward Melbourne brand Strateas Carlucci is a creative collaboration between designers Peter Strateas and Mario-Luca Carlucci that has been going strong since 2013. The pair have cultivated a strong aesthetic with a focus on construction and tailoring, referencing utilitarian elements and using the best quality fabrics and unique techniques. It is defined by its deconstruction of androgyny and its subtly subversive yet playful clothes. Strateas Carlucci does design distinct men’s and women’s collections, but they are conceived as a unified whole rather than separate ranges, with tweaks made to the same concept that exists in both ranges and an encouragement to pull from whatever range you feel most comfortable in.

Get it here.

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