Call it unisex or gender-neutral, it doesn’t matter. Whatever the name, the category is growing fast. That’s according to digital wholesale specialist JOOR.

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The company’s categories cover Men’s, Women’s, Unisex, Girls, Boys, Baby and Home products from over 14,000 fashion brands and Unisex is leading the growth pack with a 46% year-on-year rise during the first half of 2023.

Overall, the company has seen retailer investment in Unisex “consistently increase” every year over the last five years. In fact, wholesale transaction volume for it has grown more than 11 times from H1 2019 to this year’s first half. Importantly too, over that same timescale, the number of brands offering such styles has increased by 40%.

It’s certainly an investing development and given the size of the wholesale platform (600,000 curated fashion buyers across 150 countries) is clearly one that can’t be ignored.

Drilling down further, the growth has been most noticeable in the Handbags & Accessories sub-category (+69%) over the period. ‘It’ bags and mini bags may often get more media attention, but retail buyers clearly know that gender-neutral backpacks, messengers, cross-bodies and totes will resonate with consumers when it comes to handing over their cash.

For gender-free Apparel, growth has been 28% with Footwear up 25%.

And while this is a trend that’s been seen globally, it’s most marked in EMEA and is weaker in APAC. In fact, Unisex EMEA growth has been 64%, with South America on 54%, North America almost level with that on 53%, but APAC only on 24%.

And presumably with an insight into what’s been ordered since the first half ended, JOOR CEO Kristin Savilia said the appetite for genderless fashion is likely to “remain strong going forward”.

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