Deconsturcting The Constructs
Branding, Entrepreneurship, Inclusion, Prototyping, Social Impact
ÉPICÈNE was created to investigate the shift towards a more inclusive landscape for the future of the fashion industry as seen in the rise of unisex dressing and the shift towards a gender neutral society, in favor of the next generation of consumers and the needs for the industry to adapt their dated practices in order to cater to the customers of the future. Specifically, the purpose of this concept store would be to experiment operating without categorized, gendered products by intermixing racks depending on type of good. My concept store would use styling, merchandising and advertising to showcase how items can be worn intersectionally and by anybody in efforts to create a gender neutral space. It is vital that the fashion industry begins to adapt its practices as the world currently already sees 27% of teens identifying as gender non-conformists, 81% of gen Z believing a person should not be defined by their gender and 56% of gen z shopping outside their own gender.
There were many roadblocks that had to be dealt with throughout the fruition of this project. Most problems derived from the fact that this intersectional and gender fluid concept store is not something heavily saturating the market at the present time, giving me little insight into how to produce projections for this project. Additionally, the fashion industry is not one that is easily changeable in regards to its practices, especially when looking at altering aspects of it that could have financial repercussions when restructuring at first. The fashion industry is one, like many, that is set up in order to hit financial benchmarks. The financial benchmarks that dictate commercial success in the industry are currently set up by gender then by line (or type of product). One final challenge is the fact that there is currently no international unisex sizing scale to control and guide the metricts on dimensions for product.
The outcomes of this project were overall successful. The feedback I heard from the teaching team, my peers and the panel of listeners on presentation day was very positive with only slight alternatives to consider in amending my project. Some of these constructive pieces of advice were to get into more detail pertaining to the rendering of the coffee shop and the scale of the floor plan. There were also some questions about the placement of the dressing rooms in my store space, which are placed in the center of the store for ease of use when trying on clothes as they are near the racks to pull more pieces.