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Topman Collection Makes the Case for Tearing Down Fashion’s Gender Divide

Three male models on Topman runway Photos: Getty Images

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Topman presented its Spring 2017 collection in London today — a fact you might not have known, considering how overlooked menswear and its own Fashion Weeks tend to be outside of the menswear community and inner circles of the fashion industry. There are far more female-focused fashion magazines and still more clothing ads and stores targeting women. Menswear didn’t have its own dedicated New York Fashion Week until 2015.

But one glance at Topman’s latest collection and the appeal — to women and men — is clear. The colors, silhouettes and embellishments feel fresh and on-trend for anyone to wear. In fact, we kind of want all of it.

Male model on Topman's runway Photo: Getty Images
Model on Topman runway Photo: Getty Images
Male model on Topman's runway Photo: Getty Images

Closeup of sweatshirt from Topman's runway show Photo: Getty Images
Male model walking runway for Topman Photo: Getty Images
Jacket closeup from Topman's runway show Photo: Getty Images
Shoe on Topman runway Photo: Getty Images

That shouldn’t be surprising. As much as menswear is still the smaller player on the global fashion field, the worlds of “menswear” and “womenswear” have been merging more and more. It’s happening with the clothes themselves, from androgynous or “unisex” clothing trends (anyone can wear fancy athleisure sweatpants) to clothing items worn in ways that challenge gender stereotypes (see: Jaden Smith’s love of skirts).

The merging is also happening on an industry level. More brands are combining their menswear and womenswear collections into one runway show, as Public School did just this week in New York and Gucci and Burberry plan to do this September. The move is partly driven by business: As Business of Fashion’s Lauren Sherman reports, the global market for menswear is growing to a projected $33 billion mark in 2020, and more companies would undoubtedly like their men’s offerings to see the spotlight.

But it’s also driven by a more idealistic vision, in which clothes can really be worn by anyone. "I’ve always shown ‘men’ in the collection because I don’t see myself as just a womenswear or unisex designer — it's just for whoever wants it can wear it,” Briiths designer Claire Barrow told Dazed. “Like, what's point of me doing a menswear season as well?”

Male model walking down Topman runway Photo: Getty Images
Male model walking on Topman's runway Photo: Getty Images
Male model walking the runway for Topman Photo: Getty Images

Topman's new collection may technically be limited to menswear, shown in a week of men’s runway shows. But the clothes, which included slim colorful suits, matching shorts-and-top sets, embellished jackets, and cheeky prints that the Guardian said conjured up visions of a “street party,” will undoubtedly find fans across the board. We have a feeling more than a few women would add these pieces to their summer wardrobes.