As the fashion industry continues to evolve, gender lines are blurring, and consumers are shifting their approach to buying. With the rise of gender-fluid fashion, an increasing number of fashion brands reflect the way the younger generation dresses, showing greater acceptance of styles without boundaries. However, in recent years, the industry has begun to address the challenges posed by creating garments for perceived body types and reacting to their market’s demands by veering away from the traditional and restrictive design mindset.
Gender Fluid Fashion on the Rise
Apparel brands are slowly but surely realizing that it’s about time to adopt a transformative mindset in how clothing is designed and embrace those who have already adopted it. With that being said, AI and innovative apparel technology are gradually making their way to the forefront of fashion. Such technologies enable us to move forward as a society, facilitate greater self-expression, and break away from a traditionally binary industry. “It’s time to start looking forward and ask questions around gender fluidity in fashion, and technology provides us with an avenue to find the answers,” says Kris Harrington, 3D Apparel Designer and Inclusive Design Strategist who has worked with some of the world’s leading apparel brands.
One of the reasons that Kris initially stepped into the world of apparel, specializing in Menswear Design, was to find a way to solve the current challenges faced by fashion when it comes to genderless garment design. “I began my career path in the fashion industry because I was looking to make a difference and inspire others to step out of labeling clothes. Shoppers should be able to buy any item of clothing they like, without limitations,” says Kris. With a future-focused outlook, Kris began to dive into the technical side of fashion, turning to 3D apparel design as a critical opportunity to drive genderless fashion across the industry.
Where 3D Technology Comes into Play
“3D disrupts the way we design. We no longer have to visualize our designs on one body type, nor are we limited to one fit model. We now have the power to approach fit with limitless capabilities to ultimately increase customer satisfaction and reduce customer return rates,” says Kris. With the goal of creating clothing that fits, without labels, Kris began to create gender-fluid collections using 3D technology to break down the walls around size and gender to promote more meaningful fashion. “3D design has expanded my mind on how much I can do; I can visualize garments on different body types and adjust them according to that exact body type, rather than the body type that society has defined.”
By leveraging hyper-realistic parametric avatars in 3D, apparel designers can create custom avatars and validate the fit of garments for an endless array of body shapes, types, and sizes, without restrictions. In addition, designers can conduct side-by-side comparisons of the same garment on different avatars to ensure the best fit for each body type. “With an extensive true-to-life fabric and trim library in Browzwear’s 3D clothing design software,VStitcher, I can easily make design decisions on fabrications,” says Kris. “Decisions over fabrics are crucial when creating genderless apparel, especially if you are looking to see how certain fabrics will drape over various body types.”
Paving the Way for an Inclusive Fashion Industry
The fashion industry’s gender-rooted stance is slowly fading away, and we’re creating a society in which gender is no longer seen as a binary. The opportunities are endless, and it’s up to the next generation of apparel designers to utilize their talent to break down gender expectations. “When we start to think about gender and society, we are now more interconnected globally than ever before; we are part of such a diverse society that needs to have their voices heard,” says Kris. “With the uptick of advanced technology, fashion brands now have the opportunity to be at the forefront of change the innovators of culture.”
For more insights and information about gender in fashion, check out Kris’s website, Generation Genderless.