Gucci just dropped its first-ever non-binary collection shot entirely on ‘gender-neutral models’ – but there’s a catch
Gucci has launched its much-awaited genderless edit, Gucci MX – but there is a catch.
Gucci MX is a new “gender-fluid” section on the Italian house’s website which aims to make shopping the luxury brand more inclusive.
Following creative director Alessandro Michele’s promise to do away with gendered fashion shows going forward, the “MX” tab has been given equal billing on the website with “men”, “women” and “children” as of Wednesday (July 22).
According to the website, Gucci has “set out to deconstruct preconceived binaries and question how these concepts relate to our bodies”.
How, you ask? Well, as part of the launch, Gucci has redesigned its classic Jackie 1961 bag. “The new handbag design flies above traditional accessory classifications with its non-binary attitude,” reads a post on Gucci’s Instagram page.
But as has been pointed out ad nauseam, being non-binary isn’t just an attitude.
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“I have put the new #GucciJackie1961 on men and women and think that it is one of the bags from the past which can be used across the board now—it’s a bag that is interesting on everyone,” @alessandro_michele.
The new handbag design flies above traditional accessory classifications with its non-binary attitude,versatile size and flexible styling possibilities. Photography by @angelopennetta with creative direction by #AlessandroMichele and art direction by @christophersimmonds. Exclusively debuting on Gucci’s website, the small GG motif Jackie 1961 handbag is available now and the leather styles can be pre-ordered. The new bag will be featured in the MX section on Gucci’s website: a hand-picked selection of clothing and accessories with a gender fluid approach launched today. Discover more through link in bio.
As reported by i-D, Gucci MX allows shoppers to browse every single item from the current pre-fall and AW20 collections – and every coming season, when they arrive – shot entirely on “gender-neutral models”.
“Celebrating self-expression in the name of all gender equality, the house presents MX,” the new page on Gucci’s website says.
“The house’s collections emphasise the dissolving lines of the gender divide in the name of self-expression.
“Playing with the constructive nature of gender, the MX project underlines the performative nature of what we wear, presenting masculinity and femininity as relative concepts.”
But it bears asking, what does a “gender-neutral” person look like? Well, according to Gucci, gender-neutral means slim people. Slim, androgynous people.
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@alessandro_michele first presented his version of the #GucciJackie1961, for the men’s #GucciFW20 show. Resized in mini, small and medium versions, worn by both men and women in diverse looks: tailoring, grunge and clothes with shrunken proportions, the House’s recognizable bag took on an entirely new character. The longer removable strap— which #AlessandroMichele replicated from his own vintage piece—also lends the Jackie 1961 its new changeable personality. Now available for pre-order, the new design will be featured in the MX section on Gucci’s website: a hand-picked selection of clothing and accessories with a gender fluid approach launched today. Discover more through link in bio. #GucciFW20
This means that people are, yet again, seeing “slim and androgynous” as being synonymous with “non-binary” (though Gucci hasn’t specifically said the models are non-binary, it’s safe to say many will see them as representative of the community due to the language being used in connection with the images).
This is a tired, tired stereotype. Fat non-binary people exist! Non-binary femmes are awesome! Masculine-presenting non-binary people rock! And every body size, shape and gender expression in between – and outside of – that spectrum is equally valid and worthy of celebration.
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Having thin, androgynous models for a new project in the fashion industry is obviously not a problem limited to Gucci MX.
But given the brand’s evident commitment to disrupting the gender binary, it’s a shame to see that Gucci MX doesn’t take that final step – and celebrate the huge range of non-binary gender expressions and non-binary bodies that we are so lucky to have.
PinkNews has contacted Gucci for comment.