On a recent shopping spree in Brooklyn, 25-year-old Pierce Nasser wandered over to the women’s side of the Åland boutique, a buzzy, South Korean label named after a clutch of islands in Scandinavia. Hugging an armful of clothing gathered in the men’s section, he turned to the feminine side of the floor, joining his friend Maria Alsadek to browse the full racks of contemporary, midpriced clothing in an otherwise sparse, concrete setting — acid-washed jean shorts, cropped tops with sporty stripes and roomy, tailored shirts.
Reflecting a growing trend of blurring gender boundaries among younger fashion consumers, the pair said they have been shopping men’s and women’s departments for several years.
Here, at Åland’s Williamsburg store — the Korean label’s first outpost abroad that opened a year ago — shoppers have to climb to the first floor to find the classic masculine-feminine divide. The ground floor is entirely gender-fluid, with lip-plumping cosmetics, unisex Hawaiian shirts, handbags and tie-dyed bucket hats.
Gender-fluid fashion has swept the runways, and now it’s hitting the stores, bringing a fresh challenge for an industry built along traditional boundaries — men’s or women’s. The fast-growing men’s category, for example, has spawned entire stores focused on men’s wear, like the