Why New Menswear at Peter Do, Simone Rocha, and More Portends A Genderless Future

Barassi mentions that data from their customer’s shopping behaviors indicates that many shop from both channels across categories including sweaters, sneakers, bags, and others. Most indicative of these blurring conventions, perhaps, is their recently launched exclusive Simone Rocha menswear selection for fall 2022, which includes tailoring and Rocha’s signature romantic ruched dresses, both of which are shown as menswear and womenswear online. “For us, it’s about showcasing how versatile clothing can be while also providing double exposure for the brands we carry,” Barassi notes.

For brands like Rocha or Do’s where customers already shopped cross-category, expanding is a way of formalizing this interaction and providing customers with sizing and fit for their frames. And even though both designers say many of their pieces can crossover and be worn by all genders, as Rocha puts it, “not every piece can be both.” This is where logistical challenges arise in terms of double exposing women’s styles or merchandising all products as genderless. There are specific nuances in pattern grading and cutting in categories like tailoring that are in place to properly fit the traditional female and male forms, and splitting product into men’s and womenswear allow brands to overcome this hurdle without having to revert to oversized everything or see their customers settle with a standardized fit. The same pair of jeans can be offered as both “menswear” and “womenswear” with different fits accommodating varying frames, then the customer can decide which fits them the best. 

Do mentions that in the past some retail partners have double exposed his product, which led to customers complaining about fit—they were buying pieces not made for their frames. He now fits all pieces on varying models and then decides where they’re placed. He says that things often fall into his unisex assortment, which encompasses around 60 to 80% of his collections, but there are sometimes issues with fit that force a piece to be placed under one or the other. He notes denim, where crotches run smaller and more fitted in womenswear, or pieces with slim fitting shoulders that would, in most cases, not fit a “masculine” frame as examples. Do has also now established his own sizing; Rocha mentions that, on her end, they’ve been also “designing and producing in a specific way that some products can move between the two easily.”

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