The operation of the fashion world has seen considerable change this year, with the most recent change being the drive towards unisex runways.
At the New York Times International Luxury Conference in Versailles this week, Marko Bizzarri CEO and President of Gucci announced the merging of their men’s and women’s wear runway shows into one unisex show.
Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s creative director praised the direction, “It seems only natural to me to present my men’s and women’s collections together.”
“It’s the way I see the world today. It will not necessarily be an easy path and will certainly present some challenges, but I believe it will give me the chance to move towards a different kind of approach to my storytelling.”
Gucci has played with gender norms on the runway before, appropriating menswear to create a line of floral and frilly suits for their SS16 show.
While this is a reflection of the large-scale changes in the fashion industry, it is also a mirror of how we are engaging with gender-less fashion as a whole. Much has been made of Jaden Smith’s aptitude for blurring gender norms on his Instagram. The young star wears skirts and dresses paired with the usual teenage boy apparel of jeans and hoodies. Australia’s own transgender model Andreja Pejić has been experiencing large-scale success in both menswear and womenswear.
In announcing the move, Bizzarri reiterated the move as being natural in response to the current industry. “Alessandro Michele has in fact always presented his men’s and women’s collections together, so this is a very natural progression,”
“Moving to one show each season will significantly help to simplify many aspects of our business. Maintaining two separate, disconnected calendars has been a result of tradition rather than practicality.”
This announcement follows Burberry’s complete rescheduling of their fashion calendar, including the introduction of unisex fashion shows. Gucci will not however be following Burberry’s pioneering move towards the ‘see now/buy now’ calendar model, despite the move inspiring a few others including Tom Ford and Paul Smith.
Burberry released a statement with the announcement of the radical rescheduling, “our shows have been evolving to close this gap for some time. From live streams, to ordering straight from the runway to live social media campaigns, this is the latest step in a creative process that will continue to evolve.”
These radical changes to the fashion calendar and to approaching runway shows will likely mark 2016 as a year of pioneering change for the industry.
Watch Gucci’s Pre-fall 2016 runway show here: