Androgyny has become a fashionable norm in recent years – we live in boyfriend jeans, love the soft cotton t-shirts in the H&M Mens section and curl up in jumpers belonging to our actual boyfriend. (We’ve even done a piece on the best men’s clothes shops.)
But now Swedish brand Acne are taking it a step further by having a pre-teen boy model their women’s line. “The cut, the shape and the character of the garment is the crucial thing, rather than seeking approval from society or to follow set norms” explained Artistic director Jonny Johansson to WWD.
The model is his 12-year-old son Frasse, who he envisioned in the campaign from the beginning. Frasse said he prefers football to modelling but surprisingly he wasn’t too concerned with putting on woman’s clothes. However, he did confess to struggling with the heels. “Walking in high heels is so hard, and I don’t understand how anyone can walk in them,” he said. Amen to that.
We like the idea of changing up the gender constructs and there’s no denying that the end product is pretty cool. The clothes look amazing and the facial jewellery and give sunglasses give that sense of anonymity – anyone can dress how they please, whether it be in the male or female designated sections. It’s a contemporary spin on a young girl playing dress-up in her mother’s closet as well as an inspiring ode to people embracing the fluidity of gender.
It’s certainly an eye-catching campaign and yet there’s something uncomfortable about it. The use of a young boy to model women’s clothes hits close to the heart of fashion’s big problem – that the ideal female shape is one that resembles a prepubescent child. The waif-like frame with no breasts or hips is not how the majority of women look, and yet the fashion industry continues to dress for them and choose gamine models to stalk down runways. Perhaps we’re being overly critical… What do you make of it?