- The Phluid Project is trying to change the way we think of retail by creating a gender-free store and community space.
- The store is organized by style and brand rather than gender, and everything it sells is gender-neutral.
- The company was founded by Rob Smith, a former Macy’s and Victoria’s Secret executive.
The Phluid Project is trying to change the way we think of retail.
The “world’s first gender-free store” opened its doors in March, branding itself as part store, part community. A sign in the window reads, “This is a welcoming, inclusive, diverse, and safe space. Intolerance will not be tolerated.”
He wrote in a Facebook post about the store, “This is a revolutionary retail movement for a new generation. Recognizing the rising voice of young people and their growing rejection of binaries. The Phluid Project is committed to redefining gender labels and creating a space where strangers, allies, friends — people — can be unapologetically themselves.”
Major retailers have recently been doing more to reach the LGBTQ community. Brands like Abercrombie, Zara, and Asos have all launched gender-neutral clothing lines in an effort to be more inclusive and welcoming.
Inside, clothing is organized by style rather than gender. Brands like Fila, Champion, Gypsy Sport, Dr. Martens, and The Phluid Project’s own brand line the shelves, ranging in price from $25 to $200.
In addition to clothing, the store sells shoes, accessories, beauty products, and books. It also has a small café, events like talks on identity and activism, and a free meeting space for anyone to use. The goal is to create a community space rather than just a store, which definitely seemed to be the case when we visited…