AMM 3550 - Data Analytics For Fashion Business: Project 2

Will Stores of the Future Remove Gendered Labeling?

By Amy Kohlbrenner, Britney Miholancan, Yalitcia Noemi Pelayo, Huey Wong, Samantha Castro

December 3, 2021

AMM 3550 Proj 2 Presentation


This report will explore our research topic “Will gender labels be removed from stores?” The goal of our research topic is understanding whether stores of the future will remove gendered labeling, i.e. not having male and female written on store signs or on websites. Essentially if clothing will have no gender, even if it is masculine or feminine. We will discover these answers through a measurement of data collected via a conducted survey. We will be conducting our survey through Qualtrics with multiple choice questions and distributing it through contacts, social media, and email. We felt that for such a specific topic as this one, the only measure of data would be through a survey to obtain qualitative data, to better understand our topic through the participants of different ages. We will also collect the factors that lead a store to change to non-gendered clothing labels, which may correlate with consumer behavior. Additionally, we will also look into if laws are being created to push this movement forward. We will further analyze the collected results and our research to indicate whether fashion will take a turn in a more genderless fashion future.

Trend Research

Throughout our trend research we found that the fashion industry is becoming more accepting of non-gendered labels. The inclusion of gender-fluid, unisex or polysexual fashions maybe are in more places then you probably think. Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld and Stella McCartney exhibited such styles for spring 2020 (Socha, Miles, 2020). Some believe that any article is gender fluid because clothing doesn't have gender. This belief isn’t anything new there have been many individuals in the past exploring different types of clothing. However, collectively Generation Z is the most vocal about pushing non gendered labels (Lauren, Thomas, 2021).

Gen Z is known for being all over social media, so it is no surprise that there has been a flood of brands marketing as gender fluid through social media outlets like Instagram and TikTok. A few examples are Yuk Fun, Girlfriend Collective, and Pangaia. More recently the products have included more feminine designs as opposed to the past gender fluid clothing that was mostly basics (t-shirts, sweats, etc). The head of PR for The Phluid Project, Christina Zervanos, found that, "Statistics show 38 percent of Gen Z-ers 'strongly agreed' that gender no longer defines a person as much as it used to, and 27 percent of millennials felt the same way." There is a movement to all clothing becoming genderless. Many companies share the belief clothing has no gender and are advertising on social media accordingly. TikTok is also pushing the conversation. Tiktok is one platform that Gen Z uses to discuss and break down these barriers through short videos. “TikTok has propelled non-conforming gender stereotypes into the mainstream… (Lauren, Thomas, 2021).” The fashion industry moves with the consumer. If the consumer changes, companies have to adapt to stay afloat. Therefore, we conducted a survey.

Data Measured

We conducted a survey as a means of measure for the data to be collected. We conducted our survey through Qualtrics to explore deeper into the minds of the consumers. It was a survey with a total of 21 multiple choice questions with some comment boxes to acquire more in-depth responses. We collected a total of 70 respondents, which most also answered the comment box sub-questions. The questions we asked were regarding demographics, gender, fashion, retail stores, shopping experiences, and politics.

The majority of our survey takers were in our target age range. About 50 out of the 70 people were ages 18-24 and 18 in the age group 25-34. We had a few outliers of older and younger people. The majority of surveyors were students or employed who have earned a high school diploma or higher.

When asked if they believe certain apparel items are for a specific gender (e.g., Only girls wear skirts), three times the amount answered no compared to yes.

This proves our point that clothing is becoming thought of as genderless. When asked about gender terms like unisex, nonbinary, gender neutral, etc. Only 5 people out of the 70 said they haven't heard the terms. Showing that the use of gender fluid vocabulary has become mainstream. Another question asked if they themselves own any gender neutral clothing the majority said yes as seen in the following graph. Proving that the change is already here.

Data Analysis

We went ahead and continued to analyze more of our data collected from our survey and we continued to see as the survey questions progressed, most questions had the highest number of respondents agreeing to most gender-neutrality questions. Most agreed that there is a market in the fashion industry for gender-neutrality and how many even already dress in some non-binary clothing or own clothing of the opposite sex. As far as gender labeling and gender labeled clothing, both charts peaked highest with ‘neither approve nor disapprove’ at about 30 respondents.

When asked in our survey whether they have seen apparel companies promoting, supporting, or enabling genderless clothing, we received a high consensus on ‘A little,’ which is much of we found from our previous research. Yes, there is little movement and change happening, but change nonetheless and what our data analysis has proved is that genderless clothing is becoming a mainstream movement and consumers are demanding it. It’s becoming a civil issue and it will only continue to evoke change in retails stores and the fashion industry.

When asked whether they’d be open to purchasing and shopping non-binary clothing we saw a moderate amount of respondents open to the possibility according to the charts shown below.

Political Involvement

In October 09, 2021, there was a bill signed into law by California governor, Gavin Newsom, which will require gender-neutral departments for retail stores. As part of Newsom’s California Comeback Plan, Assembly Bill No. 1084 will require a retail department store that is physically located in California that has a total of 500 or more employees across all California retail department store locations that sells childcare items or toys to maintain a gender neutral section or area to be labeled at the discretion of the retailer, in which a reasonable selection of the items and toys for children that it sells shall be displayed, regardless of whether they have been traditionally marketed for either girls or for boys (Bill Text, 2021). This bill is expected to go into effect beginning January 1, 2024 and if a retail department store fails to comply, they will be liable for a civil penalty of $250 for a first violation and $500 for subsequent violations. ‘Children’ under this bill applies to 12 years and under. The passing of this bill is a historical moment in American politics, as California is the first state to initiate and pass such law. However, the bill placed upon retail department stores is not the first sighting of retail action on this issue. We even included this in our survey and asked participants whether they were aware of this upcoming bill and how they felt about it as demonstrated in the charts above.

We discovered that many people agreed to have gender-neutral children’s sections and many were not aware of the bill. However, it is safe to say that the 45 respondents that agreed to gender-neutral children’s departments feel pleased with the upcoming Assembly Bill No. 184 to be passed. This is an action that may open future doors for all apparel retail.

Gender-neutrality has been an ongoing civil issue, which has already been tackled by retail store chains, voluntarily. Target was one of the first to take action in 2015, in terminating use of gender-based signs in their 1,900 U.S. stores (Lacy, L., 2021). Old Navy then followed in 2020, with their release of a gender-neutral tween clothing line and PacSun did too, most recently in early 2021. We’re not only seeing apparel retailers making the change, but also toymakers. Hasbro is a great example with their most recent announcement earlier this year, 2021, regarding their gender-neutral update for Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head (Lacy, L., 2021). Even though, there are existing retail stores contributing to these changes, we had not seen an all non-binary store itself. Not until now. New Bedford, Massachusetts is the first city in which we see the first viewing of an all non-binary clothing store. Hewn is a boutique, owned by Myles Goulart, that does not organize its clothing by gender nor size. Instead, it has its clothing organized by the types of apparel: bottoms, tops, and outerwear. This is a concept store that we may see many more of in the future as existing retail stores modify into this structure and new ones continue to open, achieving the vision of gender-neutrality in the apparel retail sector.

Google Trend Data

Our team conducts a Google Trends research to the word related to Non-Gendered Clothing include world "Unisex", “Androgynous”, “Genderless”, and “Gender Neutral”. The results show that the number of people has increased over the years. We also conduct a percentage growth rate and found the word “Genderless” to have the most average growth rate at 27%, following by word “gender neutral” at 22%, “Unisex” at 7% and “Androgynous” at 6%. All of the word has seen an increase in search results on average over the year. Thus, we believe that there is interest in people shopping for non-gendered label clothing.

The survey we conducted shown similar result that there a numbers of people who are interested in unisex clothing. Younger generation are more interested in unisex clothing lines than the older generation. This is likely due to the influence of Social media, Trends, Tiktok, Influencer, etc. and their more progressive social views and beliefs.


The data we gathered for our analysis to answer our question of ‘Will Stores of the Future Remove Gendered Labeling?’ was through the latest trend research, news, social media, brands, political involvement and the survey we conducted to see the direction fashion is moving toward and consumer behavior. We concluded that there are markets for unisex clothing that did not need gendered labeling. Out of the surveyed men and women, surveys ages 13 to 25, are more interest in unisex clothing line than the older generation. Females surveyers were more interested in unisex apparel than men. This may be due to their more progressive social views and beliefs. Lower income consumers also prefer unisex clothing. Genderless clothing is not only a label, but a statement people are pushing for. Most unisex apparel would have silhoutettes that portray to be more masculine than feminine. As companies continue to progress their marketing and social awareness, we are seeing a change in how unisex apparel looks, and there are more feminine silhoutetted pieces now. The fashion industry is now changing dramatically as we even see political change being involved with the shift. Bills and laws are now being proposed and executed to enforce gender-neutral departments for stores. We are now seeing not only small boutiques, but large retail chains and high-end designers implement genderless apparel and promoting the civil issue at hand. Our collected data and research did prove that stores are now removing labels and many more may in the future.


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