British retailer John Lewis, the favorite department store of British middle classes, has created a gender-neutral children’s clothing department. John Lewis’ own brand children’s clothing is being labeled Boys & Girls or Girls & Boys (in equal numbers) while all in-store signage is gender neutral. A line of unisex pieces is also in production.
Both H&M and Zara have created unisex ranges for adults, while more high-end fashion names like JW Anderson and Rick Owens have championed unisex designs. Last year, Louis Vuitton dressed Jaden Smith, the 17-year-old son of Will Smith, in pieces from women’s clothing range for an ad campaign promoting its spring 2016 collection.
John Lewis’ aim has been to avoid reinforcing gender stereotypes within its collection and instead provide greater choice and variety to its customers so that the parent or child can choose what they would like to wear.
Gap was accused of being sexist last year by labeling girls as social butterflies and boys as scholars. Tesco, Britain's biggest supermarket chain, was recently criticized for putting yellow dinosaurs on its boys’ school shoes and pink butterflies on shoes for girls.
However, John Lewis still sells a wide variety of children’s clothing including traditional clothing for girls and boys.