thomasbalestanProduct designer & Crochet researcher
Our understanding of gender has progressed, and we know now that it is not necessarily a fixed thing but it is a concept that is evolving. If fashion tends to offer new alternatives like gender neutral clothing, the fashion retail world have trouble to break free from its binary thinking.
/ˈfluːɪd/ is a project that aspire to rethink this system. By creating an inclusive shopping experience, this project aims to escape the binary world of clothing stores. Working with second-hand pieces, the goal is not to create new garments, but to give everyone access to the full spectrum of clothes. In that way, /ˈfluːɪd/ intend to provide a safe place which inspires self-expression and stimulates individuality as well as a sense of togetherness.
Fluidity being the core concept, the proposal addresses different matters, such as gender, size and audacity. To implement gender fluidity, there will not be any gender categorization, but the clothes will be sorted by colors, and the environment will offer inspirational fluid fashion visuals to stimulate creativity.
Getting rid of the existing labels and producing new labels with a flexible size chart that uses color gradients will initiate a personalized experience and harmonized the systems between the different brands
Those new labels are place on the outside of the garments as a statement that can be kept or reused as a bracelet or keychain. They bring a sense of belonging and can open discussion about gender expression.
Exploring one’s gender expression can be intimidating and it is something that people might want to start by themselves, but others might need guidance and support. That is why at /ˈfluːɪd/, there are tags which provides a way to clearly state how you want your shopping experience to be, a self-exploration or a cooperative journey. You can switch the side of the tag any moment if you want according to your needs, and of course, you can decide not to wear the tag for a less defined exploration
Designing /ˈfluːɪd/ is designing both an experience and a physical space, to provide a place which encourages anyone to express themselves in public and be more daring, in their own way. The goal is to create a safe place that stimulates self-expression and opens a discussion about the fashion retail industry and gender expression.
My purpose is that people from the fashion industry see this project and are able to pick and chose ideas to translate some concepts in their own brands. And maybe, we can slowly change this binary environment into a new fluid industry that welcomes everyone and inspire all.
/ˈfluːɪd/ was my graduating project from the Master in Design at Konstfack, 2020.
You can read my thesis about this project here