In the fashion world, gender is sooo last year

The fashion business could be going gender Phluid after a store in New York called The Phluid Project recently launched in NYC.

Menswear? Womenswear? Who cares? 

In the fashion world, gender is sooo last year

Gender fluidity is by no means a new concept on runways and in the fashion industry, but retail is starting to catch up as fashion breaks the binary through non-gendered stores and collections.

Unsex me here

The Manhattan-based Phluid Project is a storefront/cafe/event venue geared toward the LGBTQIA+ community. Founder Rob Smith, a retail exec with 3 decades of experience at brands like Nike, Macy’s, and Victoria’s Secret, set up shop just a few years ago. 

At Phluid, mannequins lack the bionic breasts and bulges typical of fashion dummies. They sport pants, skirts, and sweatshirts emblazoned with “They Power,” a nod to nonbinary pronoun preference.

Over the summer, Phluid worked with the HBO series “Euphoria” to set up pop-ups across the country. At each of the pop-up locations, shoppers could check out a capsule collection and sit in on panel discussions. Phluid also launched a gender-fluid collection with the French label Equipment. 

It’s a Z thing… and it’s getting bigger

According to Pew Research Center, 35% of Gen Z knows someone who identifies as nonbinary. And, as Smith points out, you can’t discount this demographic.

“By next year, Gen Z (will account) for ⅓ of the national population, which accounts for 40% of US spending power,” Smith told Fortune.

And it seems a niche concept is going mainstream.

The fast-fashion giant H&M has worked gender fluidity into its strategy through efforts like its unisex Denim United collection and its collab with the non-gendered Swedish brand Eytys. And last summer beauty retailer Sephora launched a campaign painting a broader picture of inclusion.

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