Fashion designer Vasilis Loizides may have shown his latest collection at the New York Fashion Week: Men’s earlier this month, but don’t classify his creations as menswear.
“They’re genderless clothing,” he states firmly while grabbing a matcha muffin and iced coffee blocks away from his apartment in East Williamsburg, a short break before getting back to work on his fourth eponymous collection ahead of its debut in mere weeks.
For 27-year-old Loizides, who moved to New York City seven years ago from Cyprus to study fashion design at Parsons, the distinction of his work being genderless, not unisex or androgynous, is extremely important.
“It’s not unisex, but it is genderless because there is a difference between sex and gender,” Loizides says earnestly. “That’s what attracts me to this concept. I think this is where fashion is going. In a few years, gendered clothing will end.”
Loizides’ offerings from past collections speak to this prediction of the future: brocade crop tops with long, floor-grazing sleeves, ruffled suiting that calls to mind both the richness of Baroque art and the decadence of Dynasty, and, perhaps most memorable of all designs, pearl-encrusted, cut-out chaps.
For Loizides, his conspicuous embrace of traditionally feminine elements like flounces and pearls is his effort to expand the range of what is considered masculine or feminine, a sort of “fuck you” to the binary, especially when it comes to the narrow mindset of what society deems as masculine-presenting currently.
“There’s not so much stigma when a woman wears a tuxedo, whereas there is much more of a stigma when a guy is wearing a dress,” he says, pointing out that when Coco Chanel first designed menswear-inspired suiting for women “everyone thought she was crazy.”
“I think we’re going to get to a point when cisgender straight males will be able to wear a dress at some point,” he adds.
Loizides considers his gender-identity challenging creations to be especially important in this moment, when many in LGBTQ+ community’s safety and wellbeing is threatened by the current administration. Indeed, his clothes, a proud celebration of the beauty of gender fluidity, are a declaration of being queer—a veritable call for visibility to be seen for who you are.
“I’m really happy that my brand can participate in a sort of rebellion and reaction what’s happening in the world, that we participate in the dialogue,” he says. “I think it’s important because, as we are faced with all these challenges and issues, one way to fight them with art and design. Even though it’s a dark time, a hard time for queer people in the United States, I’m glad that I can contribute to something that’s the opposite of that.”
In addition to debuting his new collection, Loizides is also working on creating in other mediums—namely producing a short film about zodiac signs that features his collection. He’s also finalizing launching e-commerce for his label; currently, Vasilis Loizides is only available at Phluid Project, a gender-neutral boutique downtown frequented by achingly cool youths that confirm Loizides’ prediction that the future of fashion, is, indeed, genderless.
When Loizides sees these customers, he’s encouraged by this glimpse of what the time ahead will bring to his industry.
“I hope that the person who wears my clothes is someone who’s living life on their terms, rather than following trends or gendered notions of what attire should be.”