Unisex Heels Back Fashion’s Blurred Binary
Luxury footwear brand Jimmy Choo and American actor Billy Porter have co-designed a gender-neutral heel line that offers extended sizing options up to a women’s US size 15 (men’s size 13). Launching amid global Pride Month celebrations, the collection further emphasises fashion’s move away from gendered labels and limitations.
While drag performers can find well-fitting footwear at specialised stores and retailers, many others including transgender women can often struggle to find appropriate heels in larger sizes. Reuters reports that transgender women can often be forced to “choose between more masculine styles and the hyper-sexualised designs of specialist retailers – with nothing in between.” Jimmy Choo and Porter’s collaboration taps into this market gap, providing more versatility in terms of sizing as well as everyday options, like classic heeled boots and suede pumps.
The general aesthetic of menswear has become increasingly feminine in recent seasons, with stereotypically ‘girly’ pieces such as dresses and skirts gaining prominence and popularity in mainstream menswear. The variety of sizes now available at Jimmy Choo (as well as the more playful iridescent boots and zebra-print platforms on offer alongside the classic options) opens up heels to new demographics. These include cisgender men looking to experiment with their personal style, as well as gender-neutral and gender-fluid people.
As clothing collections and individual products become increasingly less gendered – 56% of Gen Zers shop outside of their assigned gendered area (The Phluid Project, 2020) – focus less on labels, and more on meeting the diverse needs of the modern consumer.