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Androgynous Model Agency: A Response to Gender Neutrality

  • Amy Bebbington

Androgynous model agency responds to the blurred lines between established gender stereotypes of women and men. Therefore, photographers and designers are no longer required to hire female models for womenswear and male models for menswear as the definition of gender is being challenged.

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What Does Androgynous Modelling Mean?

Androgynous models are defined as an individual who possess characteristics that are both male and female and are beautiful, stunning and attractive because of their traits. Therefore, the term allows for people to truly and honestly express themselves without conforming to a specific gender and explaining their motive.

The fashion industry is allowing for individuals to openly reveal their true identity without judgment and discrimination. It is an exciting time where gender roles are challenged and freedom is welcomed!

Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler states: “The distinction between man and woman is disappearing, aesthetically at least. This is a big facet of our culture right now.”


Androgyny Ignores the Gender Rules

It seems like his declaration is true. The industry accepts that the traditional ideals are no longer at play. Women feel comfortable embracing their masculinity, as do men with femininity. The concept is not ridiculed or mocked, as it has become a natural progression over time that has led to a pivotal moment where androgyny is widely accepted and encouraged. There are many new faces to the industry who do not conform to the stereotypes.

It is common to witness a biological male modelling womenswear and vice-a-versa. Jaden Smith featured in Louis Vuitton’s womenswear campaign wearing a knee length back and white printed skirt, fringed top and black leather jacket. Yet, his appearance in female style clothing doesn’t confine him to just model female designs as his look will also be suited to menswear also.

Androgyny is the ability to adapt to different scenarios regardless of gender. The idea of unisex clothing also comes into play, as no longer are certain garments exclusive to gender. Women are great fans of tailored suits; loose fit jeans and hooded jackets and men are regularly witnessed donning skirts and dresses without ridicule. It seems like there are no rules regarding gender within the fashion and modelling industry allowing for individuals to explore their identity without confinements.

Modelling Agencies Respond to Gender Neutrality

The response to the rise in gender ambiguous models is an androgynous modelling agency; an establishment that is becoming recognised internationally. To comprehend the new niche, the industry has established a logical solution of modelling agencies. An organisation that can sign gender neutral models finding them work due to their connections.

Many experienced entrepreneurs understand the need for agencies that welcome the relaxed gender approach and set up divisions within their established agency or a dedicated organisation as a response to the shift. It will ensure that aspiring models and new faces feel welcomed into the industry and have a place to feel comfortable; a hub that identifies with their non-gender and embraces the concept fully. Therefore, allowing androgynous male models to carve a career in a competitive industry. Not all professionals will accept the contemporary vision regarding gender and many will experience rejection. However, alternatively there are many influential figures who have already embraced the concept.


Androgynous Models to Follow on Instagram

The social media platform, Instagram is the perfect tool to follow androgynous models 2017 that you admire. Many successful models post cover and editorial shoots, backstage shots and socialising with friends to social media to entice followers and inspire.

Rain Dove graces the runway in both men’s and women’s fashion to feel empowered. Throughout her life she was often mistaken as a man growing up feeling negatively about herself. Now, she doesn’t correct those who assume her gender as it helps her to get model jobs. Rain Dove is an activist and is intent on breaking gender stereotypes.

Satsuki Nakayama was inspired by Korean model, Kaito who she initially assumed was a guy. It turns out she was a girl and influenced Satuski to dress like her throwing out her skirts and cut her hair short to her parents and management disappointment. At first the work did dry up but gradually she started to become more successfully being picked over other Japanese models for her originality. She likes her androgynous female model label that she wears with pride.


High Street Giants Go Gender Neutral


High street fashion giant, Zara has hinted at gender neutrality in their latest model shots. Some of their garments are being modelled by both men and women online to show that they are not gender specific. They have not made an official announcement but simply demonstrating that many of their designs are not limited to one sex.

An oversized yellow and grey checked duffle coat is modelled by a man and a woman and features in both sections of the website. Zara have sophisticatedly shown that specific items are not limited to one gender yet can be enjoyed by both. The retailer has simply demonstrated what many individuals already do. Many women buy from men’s departments and visa versa. It all depends on the fit of the garment and whether it works on their physique. Essentially, if they like the item they are going to buy it regardless of its official title.

John Lewis

Also, it has also been reported that John Lewis has stopped labelling children’s departments. It is from an early age that we are subconsciously told the section to shop from. Each is separated via signs and colour. Girls should wear pink and aim to be a princess. Boys are told to wear blue and can be an astronaut. Yet, John Lewis have decided its no longer necessary to provide such distinctions in a world where we are encouraged to wear exactly what we like. If a girl wishes to pilot a plane or become Prime Minister then should be aspire to do so. Therefore, by allowing for young children to choose outfits and wear what they like this feeling of empowerment will be amplified.

Models who defy the gender stereotypes are also making a name for themselves in the high fashion world. Walking for the the top designers at Paris, New York and London Fashion Week, the industry is definitely taking notice.

Finally, what are your thoughts on androgynous modelling and gender fluidity? Let us know what you think by commenting below!

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