We’re only five days into 2016 and already the fashion industry has made it pretty clear that they don’t give a single, solitary f**k about gender.
Jaden Smith, son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, has been revealed as the new face of Louis Vuitton. Womenswear.
You read that right. The progressive designers have seen fit to cast seventeen-year-old Jaden, a male, as one of the models for their women’s clothing line.
And to think 2016’s trivial younger sibling, 2015, was all about the ‘Netflix and Chill’ (yawn).
Photographer, Nicholas Ghesquiere, posted pictures on Instagram showing Jaden alongside three female models for the SS16 LV campaign, wearing a leather jacket and the now famous skirt.
Happy to introduce Jaden Smith @christiaingrey in the new SS16 @louisvuitton ad Campaign photographed by Bruce Weber A photo posted by ? (@nicolasghesquiere) on
So before everyone gets their knickers in a twist (pun very much intended) over a man in a skirt, I’m going to share a little secret with you.
Clothes do not have a gender.
Let that sink in. One the one hand it’s a bit of a mind bender. But on the other hand it’s 100 per cent true and totally inarguable.
The same material that was used to make Jaden’s embroidered Louis Vuitton skirt, may just as likely have been used to make a gentleman’s pants, shirt or blazer. Or anything else at all, for that matter.
Because the fabric is not born male or female. It’s not a case of the skirt masquerading as a man’s skirt for the day. It’s simply a piece of cloth, woven into being, fashioned into a skirt and branded as female attire.
If we’d allowed ourselves to be told that clothing had a gender, Serena Williams would still be running around Flushing Meadows in a long skirt, and the rest of us ladies would be forever doomed to watch from the stands in corsets, never knowing the unbridled joy of wearing jeans.
Yes, it’s a little bit weird that a boy is starring in a female advertising campaign. But it’s not as if Jaden is starring in a commercial for something that he can’t do, that only females can.
He’s not misleading the public. Because men can wear women’s clothing. And vice versa.
As the face of Louis Vuitton’s womenswear campaign, he’s telling all those little boys out there that it’s not wrong to wear pink, or to borrow their sister’s skirt if they want to. And young girls who want to wear their hair short and put on pants instead of dresses can also gain courage from seeing the expectations of gender being flipped on its head.
Following a year in which Bruce Jenner, former Olympian gold medallist, unveiled herself to the world as Caitlyn Jenner and picked up an award for Glamour Woman of the year, this news is almost even a little ‘so-what’?
Jaden, who has been vocal in the past about wearing whatever he feels like, talked to GQ about some of his wardrobe choices. “I like wearing super drapey things so I can feel as though I’m a super hero, but don’t have to necessarily wear super hero costumes everyday.”
But he probably put the whole thing best when he tweeted last year, “Went To TopShop To Buy Some Girl Clothes, I Mean “Clothes”.