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  • Marshea Oliver

Is Gender Neutral the New Fetch?

Multiple clothing lines have decided to make a change to the social norm and make a gender-neutral clothing line. H&M, Gap, John Lewis and Zara are just a few. This trend, however, is mostly taking place over in the United Kingdom. Some backlash has come from it but others have just made jokes about it. The interesting thing about this is they are targeting children. Gap UK along with John Lewis are two in particular that did so. No labels, no problem. Instead of there being a boys’ and girls’ section for these brand, it’s all together.

Gap decided to join the movement after a 5-year-old girl asked why all of the clothes on the girls’ side are “pink and princesses.” She personally likes dinosaurs and firetrucks too which she had to get from the little boys’ section. The CEO Jeff Kirwan replied to her personally and agreed with her 100%. The company put out a statement saying,“We do not want to reinforce gender stereotypes within our John Lewis collections and instead want to provide greater choice and variety to our customer," said Caroline Bettis, headwear at Joh of children Lewis. Ditching the labels was something that was requested by a target audience member. In the world of advertising, it is always good to cater to the people who buy from you. This can also increase sales or make up for margins that could be lost due to the people who are against it.

John Lewis however, is mostly known in the UK as a middle-class hotspot. The Christmas commercials they put out are just magical. Any company wants to avoid a bad review, but when they decided not to separate the kids’ section by gender a lot of people had things to say which can harm a brand. In this case, the customers that John Lewis potentially lost can be replaced by the new demographic of people who now want to shop from the company. Taking a step forward and changing with the customers around you will make a bigger impact than staying in the “norm.”

Taking that marketing chance and overhauling the way the clothing sections are labeled was a good move on these brands behalf. Revamping or just simply making a few changes can cause a brand’s awareness to increase and bring in new clients. This is not only happening in the UK, check out how Target (link to Brittany’s blog) is shaking things up in the US. What are your thoughts on the topic ? Comment below and leave your thoughts on the topic.

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