Even a retailer as established and well-known as H&M has room for growth. Earlier this month, the Swedish brand announced its first foray into unisex clothing: a 19-piece capsule called "Denim United," which features everything from long chambray shirt-dresses to capri shorts and hoodies, all of which aren't designed for, or marketed to, any specific gender identity. The capsule, which launches today, also brings in the company's mission to close the loop on fashion production, as all the garments are made using organic and recycled cottons.
While H&M's venture into gender-neutral clothing was praised by many, it received some of the same criticism other retailers, like Zara most recently, have gotten for similar collections, namely related to aesthetics: More often than not, brands market silhouettes that are plain and more menswear-inclined as unisex — think boxy T-shirts and joggers. So, these capsules are important in that they show a recognition of the gender non-conforming consumer, but they still have ways to go in terms of pushing the convention of what that market needs, seeks, and wants to shop for. "Denim United" is the most extensive unisex collection we've seen from a mass retailer, though — and it also includes styles that have traditionally been categorised as "feminine," such as dresses.
An inclusive inventory is very much top of mind for H&M. "It's very natural for us to launch a unisex collection as fashion is constantly evolving and intersecting," Marybeth Schmitt, a spokesperson for the brand, said in a statement. "Today we see there are no boundaries in democratic style."