The concept of “genderless fashion” seems to be cropping up more often than not nowadays. Whether it’s high street retailer Zara’s “ungendered” clothing collection which launched last year or designers such as JW Anderson and Grace Wales Bonner; both of which have built their signature aesthetic on looks that aren’t strictly categorised as male or female. However we all know that the fashion industry can be guilty of jumping on a bandwagon. Which is why we’re much more inclined to swing towards independent designers who are doing unisex clothing in a much less shouty (and far more wearable) way.
So when we found out that previous Netil Market girl Amy Ward (the vision behind her brand Bug Clothing) and market neighbour Tash of Brother LDN were pairing up to release a unisex work jacket and an accompanying zine, we were all ears.
“I met Tash at Netil Market, where she sells a really beautifully curated selection of unisex (and occasionally non-unisex) vintage clothing” Amy tells us, “She has some cool jackets and I think it was then we started talking about something we could make. We decided on a jacket because it’s a great throw-over for for both genders and people do love a work jacket with practical pockets.”
Conversation turned to collaboration, and the pair have designed a beautifully functional jacket in gender-neutral navy. One size and button up, we can’t imagine there’s anyone who wouldn’t suit the pared-back piece - boy or girl.
Inspired by the concept of “genderless fashion”, the jacket has also sparked a zine based on the same idea. Tash’s work as a graphic designer has meant that the result is a tastefully curated journal, featuring over 12 different people wearing their jacket and sharing their thoughts on boys wearing girls clothing and girls wearing boys.
“I have friends with really strong, varying styles and I just thought that most of them could easily get away with throwing a work jacket over things they wear” says Amy, “From my friends that work in offices, to ceramicists and photographers, we felt it was the perfect garment for all. So we rounded up a bunch of our friends and asked them just to wear whatever they want, and then we put the jacket on them!”
What we like best about the collaboration is the fact that Amy and Tash aren’t making a show and dance around the “gender neutral” element. They’ve simply designed a humble jacket that happens to be appealing to whatever gender, shape or size you may be. The zine is taking part in an open conversation on the subject and offering the wise words of some interesting, creative people who endorse this particular way of dressing. One quote in the pages by Netil Market food business owner Madka Harlow sums up the topic perfectly, saying “I believe comfort is your beauty.” We like to think both Bug and Brother are true advocates of this ethos - creating oversized, functional fashion that doesn’t adhere to gender roles, seasons or whatever else might stand in their way.
You can pre-order the limited edition jacket here and all orders come with a limited edition of the pair’s brilliant zine.
Words: Lucy Vincent
Photography: Bradley Lloyd Barnes + Sarah Victoria Bates
Art Direction/Set: Nina Hanneman
Hair: Katina Demetriou
Makeup: Storm Woodroffe