Fashion and lifestyle website You Do You declares it won’t be bound by the gender binary. Launched Monday, the web community offers only agender fashion, beauty and lifestyle content.
YDY was born when Kristiina Wilson, 37-year-old CEO and editor in chief, noticed a lack of platforms for people who don’t necessarily associate with either gender.
“I wear a lot of menswear, and had to bounce around from different stores and websites to put things together,” she explains to Mashable. “I started trying to find a site that combined genders, or actually obliterated gender constructs. Finding nothing, I decided to start my own site exploring gender-free fashion.”
A photo posted by You Do You (@you.do.u) on Aug 19, 2015 at 1:10pm PDT
YDY wants to bring both the consumers and producers of unisex fashion together with editorials, celebrity interviews and news stories, according to the site. So far, it includes a designer feature on Timo Weiland, agender model spotlights, new designers, beauty looks and original photoshoots.
Wilson brought aboard Logan Jackson as creative director and Casey Geren as managing editor to help YDY go from just an idea to an physical website.
The idea is exactly what the title says: “Just do your thing and be yourself, and no one is going to question you,” Wilson explains.
All three creators have a background in fashion. Wilson started as documentary photographer before becoming a full time fashion photographer. Jackson, 24, has a background in art and fashion photography. Geren, 32, has experience as a hairstylist and male groomer in the beauty industry and is the former editor in chief of Icon Magazine.
The website is for everyone: LGBTQ and everyone outside of that sphere.
“We should all feel free to explore fashion and beauty and find what works for us, no matter how we identify,” she says. “We just want to get rid of the gender binary system that is so prevalent in fashion, and in life; it seems outdated and silly at this point.”
“YDY is for anyone and everyone who is not fully satisfied with the state of fashion, whether it be the industry’s lack of diversity, or the feeling of separation in the way that clothing is marketed,” Jackson adds. “It is also here to build confidence in people, to give people knowledge of new things and new people, and really just to act as a platform for this new and hopefully permanent wave in fashion.”
A photo posted by You Do You (@you.do.u) on Jul 14, 2015 at 10:39am PDT
“We will not give into industry standards of exclusion. You Do You exists to provide inspiration and guidance for anyone’s self expression, whomever they may be,” Geren says.
“The agender market is growing and growing because people are more open now to dressing against gender norms, but also because the clothes are super cool and wearable,” Wilson notes.
A photo posted by You Do You (@you.do.u) on Aug 11, 2015 at 10:51am PDT
“It’s not even about being futuristic or rebellious; it is about setting a new standard that blurs categories,” says Jackson.
The founders know they risk a lot of negative feedback by working within a controversial space like gender.
“It is intimidating to start something that can carry a lot of political and idealogical weight, and you never know how people will react, especially those who are dealing with gender identity in a way that affects them seriously,” Jackson says. “But that is why I think YDY is a good thing — not because I or Kristiina or Casey have the final say on anything in these industries, but because we wanted to invite people to this space so that they could illustrate something new and important. And maybe that will create a change.”
A photo posted by You Do You (@you.do.u) on Aug 8, 2015 at 1:43pm PDT
As the site expands, the founders plan to continue collaborating with agender designers as well as offer advice to designers on how to approach unisex clothing. They want to spotlight more artists, celebrities and products in original editorials.
“There is not only a buzz but a movement happening in today’s society. I’d like to see You Do You leading the way by continuing to provide original content and dedicating our website to inclusion for all,” says Geren.
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