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STYLE GUIDE

May 2, 2019

By Noelani Piters

THE GENDER-FLUID GUIDE TO LUXE SUMMER STYLE

RealStyle | The Gender-Fluid Guide To Luxe Summer Style SHOP OUR EDITORS' TOP PICKS
The world of fashion has always been fascinated with extremes. Think today’s ginormous Proenza Schouler totes versus minuscule Jacquemus Le Sac Chiquitos. Maximalist Gucci versus minimalist #OldCéline. And — of course, the age-old binary — masculine versus feminine. Many have long realized that the difference between male and female fashion is arbitrary, and boils down to ideals imposed on us to limit freedom of expression and reinforce imbalanced power structures. Society has only recently begun to embrace a new perception of gender, and fashion, always an industry to mirror the zeitgeist, has started to reflect this shift.
From established maisons like Gucci and Maison Margiela to emerging labels like Eckhaus Latta and Telfar, luxury designers are letting the male-female binary give way to inclusive, gender-fluid fashion. And thankfully for people of all backgrounds, perspectives and gender identities, this is not just a trend — it’s the new norm. We chatted with five stylish members of the TRR team about their personal style, how they approach gender-fluid fashion and what summer trends are on their radar.
Nadja Franklin-Pryor, Creative Production Assistant

RealStyle | The Gender-Fluid Guide To Luxe Summer Style
Nadja models a layered look, perfect for summer locales with extreme weather changes.

How would you describe your personal style?
Tomboy chic. I like to wear a mix of both menswear and womenswear. Lately, I have been trying to elevate my look and I plan on incorporating more dresses and suits into my wardrobe.  
Do you have any style icons who define their own look and reject gendered ideas of fashion?
My style icon is Dennis Rodman. When I was in high school, I dyed my hair blue, hot pink and purple to mimic him. He’s still currently on my mood board. Rodman completely ignored gender roles when it came to dressing — he wore a wedding dress and a wig to his book signing. That takes confidence. In the ‘90s, it was taboo for heterosexual men to wear slip dresses, crop tops, low-rise leather pants and makeup, but he did what he wanted to like the rebel he is.
What luxury designers do you admire for their more progressive takes on fashion?
Chanel’s recent collaboration with Pharrell Willams is extremely progressive. Chanel is historically recognized as a womenswear brand, but Pharrell Williams’ collaboration with the luxury giant helped usher in the brand’s first unisex line.
The binary idea of gender has long created a stigma around what people wear. How, if it all, has this ever affected how you dress?
Gender has never affected the way I dress because I wear whatever I feel comfortable in. When I shop, I look through every section, and depending on the brand, I may even start with the men’s section first.

RealStyle | The Gender-Fluid Guide To Luxe Summer Style
Chloé 2018 Sonnie Sneakers; Gucci Flashtrek Sneakers; Dior B23 Oblique Sneakers

What trends are you looking forward to rocking this summer?
I’m not a big “shoe person” but I recently purchased three pairs of sneakers and plan to style them with dresses. I’m most excited to try my new 3.1 Phillip Lim ruched maxi dress with some classic Nike Cortezes. It’s going to be a look.
Tony Soto, Marketing Production Manager
How would you describe your personal style?
Uniform. If I like it, I wear it. I don’t think beyond that. My favorite look is anything black, oversized and long paired with big hoops.
Do you have any style icons who define their own look and reject gendered ideas of fashion?
Gang members in the LA neighborhood I grew up in. Oversized, freshly pressed Dickies, plaid flannel button-ups, Converse chucks and Nike Cortezes were a staple for both genders.
What luxury designers do you admire for their more progressive takes on fashion?
Balenciaga. Period.
The binary idea of gender has long created a stigma around what people wear. How, if it all, has this ever affected how you dress?
Never.

RealStyle | The Gender-Fluid Guide To Luxe Summer Style
Style tip: Let chunky sneakers balance out bold colors & tailored silhouettes.

Lex Valle, Authentication and Brand Compliance Lead
How would you describe your personal style?
Elegantly disheveled. Chic French girl with a touch of construction worker (via cargo pants). I also like to dress with certain looks in mind, so depending on how I’m feeling on any given day, I may throw something on that I only wear once in awhile.
Do you have any style icons who define their own look and reject gendered ideas of fashion?
Mary Kate & Ashley, Leandra Medine, Eva Chen, Luka Sabbat and Rhuigi Villaseñor. Rhuigi has definitely rejected traditional ideas of gender by being one of the first men to carry a Chanel crossbody.
What luxury designers do you admire for their more progressive takes on fashion?
The Row, Maison Margiela, Dior, Celine, Issey Miyake, CdG and so many more. I think all of these designers break the mold by making clothing that can be worn by anyone.
The binary idea of gender has long created a stigma around what people wear. How, if it all, has this ever affected how you dress?
I am a pretty petite man, which has allowed me to shop many categories and sizes. Growing up, I wore lots of skinny jeans with Jordans and Nikes, and the general consensus at the time was that it was strange for a boy to be wearing tight jeans and sneakers. But I’ve never been afraid to think outside the box when it comes to fashion.

RealStyle | The Gender-Fluid Guide To Luxe Summer Style
Gucci 2018 Tie-Dye Logo Shirt; Saint Laurent Tie-Dye Clutch; Proenza Schouler Mock Neck Top

What trends are you looking forward to rocking this summer?
The first person I saw wearing tie-dye this season after all the runway show madness was Leandra Medine. It made me wish I’d kept all the tie-dye shirts I sold long ago, and realize I need to buy more.
Myles Juzkow, Manager, Creative Photography

RealStyle | The Gender-Fluid Guide To Luxe Summer Style
Myles test-drives his favorite summer trend: belt bags worn crossbody.

How would you describe your personal style?
Sharp, bold and ______ (I like to leave my style open-ended and undefined).
Do you have any style icons who define their own look and reject gendered ideas of fashion?
Ezra Miller, who serves gender-neutral ways to dress up and down … and I eat it up! And RuPaul. RuPaul helped me and people all over the world overcome gender norms and defy gendered fashion. She taught us, “We’re all born naked, and the rest is drag.” Every day we’re given the opportunity to express how we feel on the inside on the outside.
What luxury designers do you admire for their more progressive takes on fashion?
Saint Laurent has always stood out to me for being progressive historically. I also love Raf Simons’ minimalist approach to gender-bending fashion in the Calvin Klein 205W35NYC Spring/Summer 2019 collection.
The binary idea of gender has long created a stigma around what people wear. How, if it all, has this ever affected how you dress?
Growing up confused with my own sexuality, I was afraid to buy and wear what I wanted to wear for 20-odd years. I gave into heteronormative ideas and antiquated rules that boys have to wear boy clothes and girls, girls. Watching RuPaul’s Drag Race gave me the confidence to buy versatile pieces that I could bend to be more feminine or fluid when it pleased me. Now I confidently wear anything however I wish and know that I’m wearing it for me, not anyone else.

RealStyle | The Gender-Fluid Guide To Luxe Summer StyleSupreme Box Logo Waist Bag; Prada Nylon Backpack; Louis Vuitton Limited Edition Giant Monogram Belt Bag

What trends are you looking forward to rocking this summer?
Summer is right around the corner and I will be pulling out my mom’s vintage belt bags and wearing them proudly. I can’t wait to put my now-oversized phone in it so my butt pockets can breathe when I’m out and about!
Kaila Abruzzo, Managing Editor
How would you describe your personal style?
A little tough and a little tender. I prioritize comfort, but gravitate to things that have a bit of edge and personality. You’ll almost always find me in a T-shirt, high-rise denim, a leather jacket and Doc Martens.
Do you have any style icons who define their own look and reject gendered ideas of fashion?
I love how creative and authentic Sammi Jefcoate’s style is, and can always count on Alexis Foreman for a simple, perfect look. Both of them lean into both their feminine and masculine sides depending on the day and their mood, and I love that easy, effortless kind of fluidity.
What luxury designers do you admire for their more progressive takes on fashion?
I love Dries Van Noten, Jil Sander and Off-White. Each brand has a distinct point of view without being restrictive. They’ve each mastered clean, well-constructed silhouettes that feel personal and expressive, and their pieces can be styled in a million ways.
The binary idea of gender has long created a stigma around what people wear. How, if it all, has this ever affected how you dress?
I’ve always been a bit rebellious when it comes to style, and I’d rather wear what makes me feel powerful and most like myself rather than trying to force femininity. There’s definitely a freedom to wearing dresses and skirts, and I’m privileged to be able to throw them on without judgement. I’m glad, however, that fashion seems to be approaching a more forward-thinking place where anyone can wear what they want and leave traditional gender norms behind.
Leave the traditional in the past this summer & shop our editors’ top picks for everyone now.
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