When William Fan designs a collection, he thinks in terms of material and silhouettes. Of a combination of fine materials such as silk and wool and of the cuts of functional workwear. What he does not think about are men and women. Because Fan’s style knows no gender—he designs classic shirts, casual trousers, jackets and coats. The single concession he makes: all his clothing comes in the sizes XS to XL, because people’s bodies after all have different heights and widths.
When retailer John Lewis ditched gendered labels on children’s clothing, a backlash soon followed.
John Lewis is the first major UK clothes seller to offer exclusively gender neutral children’s clothes. Labels read “Girls & Boys” or “Boys & Girls” on all items, from newborns up to 14 years. It has also launched a unisex line for children, with no more prescriptive pink for girls and blue for boys—just clothes for everyone.
Some embraced the store for its progressive and nuanced take on gender politics. But others were scandalised—calling it an example of liberal pandering or outsized political correctness (gone wrong).