The world's first gender-free clothing store has opened

The Phulid Project/ Instagram

A gender-free clothing store, the first of its kind in the world, has opened in New York City.

The Phluid Project is aiming to not just introduce a range of clothes that will appeal to all genders, like some stores have done, but have an entire shop dedicated to the concept.

None of their items in their store, based in Soho, are labelled as 'men' or 'women', as they prefer to allow people to express themselves freely without being confined by identity given to most clothes.

According to their website, their goal is:

The Phluid Project exists to empower individuals to be themselves. To express themselves openly, without judgement or fear - only freedom.

We aspire to challenge ideas of the past, so that we can clear the path for a bright, beautiful future - together. 

The store, which opened its doors to the public on 22 March, is both a retail venue and a platform where people can experiment and live without being pigeonholed into a certain gender.

The Phluid Project has been founded by Rob Smith, a 30-year veteran of the fashion industry who wants young people to be able to explore their own identity in the way that he did when he was that age.

Speaking to Mic, Smith said:

I was a young, creative kid who wasn’t able to be his honest and authentic self.

So in a way, I’m creating a space for young people to be their authentic selves and to be unashamed if they want to try on makeup if they want to try on clothes.

It’s a space you can try things on and not feel ashamed in any way

Everything from the customer service to the changing rooms and even the gender-neutral mannequins have been specifically curated to not only meet people's needs, but encourage the same type of behaviour from the public.

Brands like Doc Marten's, FILA and Champion feature in the store as well as nonprofits and women-owned brands, with many garments being acutely designed to fit all genders and body-shapes.

Furthermore, the store does not label clothes from XS to XL but instead used a number system going from 0 to 4, with the intention of eventually expanding to 00 and 5 and 6.

Judging by Twitter it is going down well with people who have visited it so far.

Smith, who believes that there will be more and more gender-free stores across the world in the near future, has already begun to see the benefits of the store.

He adds:

A family came in from Wisconsin and they came because they heard about it and this is where they decided to go on vacation and this was their first stop.

So it really just hit me, and I know we’re on the right track.

To see the expression on young people’s faces, and the gratitude that there’s a place like this for them to shop.

It’s validating for young people and it makes their parents feel good, that there’s some place for them

HT Mic

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