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Non-binary fashion : challenging heteronormativity.

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Non-binary fashion : challenging heteronormativity.

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QUOTE “Gender fluid is a gender identity best described as a dynamic mix of boy and girl. A person who is gender fluid may always feel like a mix of the two traditional genders but may feel more male or female some days. Gender fluid is a category of non-binary and genderqueer, umbrella terms used to describe people who do not feel male or female. They may feel that they embody elements of both, that they are somewhere in between or that they are something different. The term genderqueer challenges gender normativity and the common assumption that everyone is either completely male or completely female”. “An example of a heteronormative brand implementing a non-binary is the Spanish high street brand ZARA who launched a ‘ungendered’ fashion collection in March 2016. Zara named the collection ‘unisex’ and ‘ungendered’ and it has its own category on their website within womenswear.” RESEARCH QUESTION What is the relation between fashion and genderqueer? SUB QUESTIONS 1. What is genderqueer and how did it evolve? 2. What is non-binary fashion? 3. How are non-binary fashion collections from non-binary fashion brands received by the targeted genderqueer consumer? 4. How are non-binary fashion collections from heteronormative brands received by the targeted genderqueer consumer? ABSTRACT The aim of this research is to examine the relation between fashion and genderqueer. To collect data, the qualitative research method of a focus group is conducted. Also, individual interviews were conducted, researching interpretations of people considering themselves (gender)queer, on both non-binary fashion brands as heteronormative fashion brands with a non-binary fashion collection. The theory of the semiotic square by Greimas and Rastier is used in order to analyse these interpretations. This thesis first examines gender, genderqueer and queer theory. In a second stage, non-binary fashion is described. The thesis then analyses the interpretations of interviewees on non-binary fashion brands and heteronormative fashion brands with a non-binary fashion collection. The focus group resulted in clarifying non-binary fashion and the two concepts it exists of gender-neutral fashion and genderqueer fashion. Whereas gender-neutral fashion tries to erase gender by creating clothing without defined masculine or feminine characteristics, genderqueer fashion celebrates the diversity in gender and sexuality by conflicting the traditional symbols in order to confuse and question. These concepts are defined by six characteristics: aesthetics, sizing, diversity, gender-neutral language, designer & owner and politics. Non-binary fashion is differently interpreted by the interviewees when created by a non-binary fashion brand compared to a heteronormative brand with a non-binary fashion collection. Non-binary fashion brands are generally correct interpreted because of interviewees assigning a (meta)term that is comprehensive with the way the brand positions itself. Compared with non-binary fashion brands, non-binary fashion collections launched by heteronormative brands are still perceived as ‘gender binary fashion’ by the interviewees. The results show that the label or name brands use in order to position themselves or their collections when wanting to target people identifying as genderqueer is important since this is the first aspect people base their interpretations on and should, therefore, be done with much consideration. Also, it determines the audience within the heterogeneous genderqueer communit

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OrganisatieHogeschool van Amsterdam
AfdelingMedia, Creatie en Informatie
Jaar2017
TypeBachelorscriptie
TaalEngels

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