Playing around with notions of sex, gender and what is traditionally items of clothing for one sex being adopted by the other is hardly groundbreaking within the Fashion world and ok so men embracing their feminine side might still be less mainstream. What would the world be without such iconic imagery as Marlene Dietrich, Madonna and Bianca Jagger all playing with their interpretation of the tuxedo, the late, great David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix and Prince all playing with the stereotypes of gender or more recently, Gucci’s, item of the season, pussybow shirts and Jayden Smith front the latest Louis Vuitton Campaign. Gender neutrality is big business Zara, KTZ, Whistles X Stutterheim and Selfridges are all loving their agenderness. Females for decades have been helping themselves to their boyfriends wardrobes whether it be jeans, jumpers or Blazers. However, one wardrobe staple which has, until now, eluded unisex sharing has been footwear.
But for Summer 2016, luxury brand, Salvatore Ferragamo presents the Ferragamo Off-Duty project, a special footwear collection inspired by a new casual and sporty mood, without gender distinctions. This collection includes shoes designed to be worn by him and her – in sizes 31⁄2 to 15 – reflecting the unisex lifestyles of the new generation.
With its streamlined design which looks to sportscar drivers, the driver – one of Ferragamo’s best- sellers – stands out for its distinctive sole with rubber inserts making it incredibly flexible, an example of craft expertise, the brand is renowned for.
However, the driver isn’t on its own, it’s joined by the Stylish and understated, moccasin, with its double Gancio buckle is the distinctive signature feature, alongside a wide range of materials and this season’s colour combinations. Plus a hyper-contemporary street-savvy trainer, sorry, sneaker.
The palette for the Off-Duty collection imbues the driver and moccasin with the new unisex Piuma print or the warming tones of summer: Anemone, Mimosa, Orange, Grapes, Saxony Blue, New Sprint, Red and Blue Marine, as well as Black, the gender-neutral colour par excellence. Whereas the lace up sneaker combines parts in plain calfskin, patent, soft split leather, suede and Airspring print fabric, or Piuma print leather in three colourways: wine-blue-grey-brown, dark rain and burgundy, sand and rose.