“The Future is Fluid.”
Unapologetically gender-fluid fashion company Array Apparel has just launched its Spring/Summer 2018 collection with a controversial message that calls out big brands for failing freedom of expression.
Directors Paige Garvey and Stephanie Bridge claim that the fashion industry is failing consumers by not being progressive enough in the marketing of gendered clothing. They argue that decisions to ditch gendered labels on children’s ranges by John Lewis and Abercrombie Kids are “a step in the right direction, albeit an ironic baby-step”, adding that “if these companies were really serious about ending gender stereotypes, this would have been a top-down approach from the adult collections”.
In their Mission Statement, Array Apparel champion the fact that there is an “array of genders”. They go on to explain that their brand aims to end gender stereotypes and promote the social tolerance of fluidity.
With a minimalist look and long-line cuts offering a gender-neutral urban style, Array Apparel is attempting to challenge the binary status quo and has launched three clothing ranges in the first instance. The first is their Signature range, sporting the brand name and their slogan ‘Love, Not Labels’. The second is a graphic statement t-shirt range called Diversi-tee, with designs such as ‘The Future Is Fluid’ and ‘Being Straight Was My Phase’. Lastly, they have an Array range which includes items baring their diamond-style logo.
Array Apparel’s launch photo shoot includes models from the LGBTQ+ community, with a teaser advert starring Cambell Kenneford; a transgender model as seen in Channel 4’s two-part reality television programme Genderquake, which aired in May earlier this year. The video also includes professional contemporary dancer Jordan Bridge (Company Wayne McGregor) and former Lion King West End dancer Connor Williams. In a unique style, all models at the photo shoot were encouraged to bring their own clothes to pair with Array Apparel’s collection and given “complete and unrestricted creative expression”.
We spoke to one of the directors, Stephanie Bridge, on the reasons for such flexibility; she said “we wanted our models to actually express their true gender identity and to wear what they would genuinely feel comfortable in. If you are non-binary, this can be extremely fluid… hence why some of our models wear thigh-highs in one shot, but trousers and boots in the next”. Array Apparel are Manchester-based and planning a second photo shoot to launch their Autumn Winter collection. “We will be putting out another model call on our Instagram soon”, she added.
Whilst taking the time to launch their campaign effectively, Array Apparel are also planning partnerships with local LGBT charities and trusts in an effort to promote social tolerance and respect for those who identify “outside of the binary status quo”.
In the spirit of the Pride Season, the brand will be offering special discounts on their website and corresponding social media pages to all first-time buyers.
Visit www.arrayapparel.co.uk for more information or follow @arrayappareluk on Instagram to get access to these discounts.