Gucci has unveiled a $2,600 dress for men it says will combat “toxic stereotypes that mold the masculine gender identity.”
The dress: The tartan smock will feature in the luxury fashion brand’s Fall/Winter 2020 collection, Insider reported on Monday.
- “Inspired by grunge looks from the ‘90s,” the cotton dress is intended to “reflect the idea of fluidity” and to disrupt “the toxic stereotypes that mold masculine gender identity,” a description on Gucci’s website reads.
- The dress’s Peter Pan collar and smock embroidery are said to add a “childhood inspired element.”
The reaction: The reception to Gucci’s fashion-forward feminism was mixed on social media.
- Some Twitter users called the dress “beautiful”, others complained it wasn’t “pretty” enough and many more derided the very idea.
RealClearPolitics co-founder Tom Bevan was among those who scoffed at Gucci’s social justice messaging.
The Twitter account for the Femsplainers podcast offered a blunt warning.
We Hunted the Mammoth, a website aimed at tracking “misogyny,” compiled a list of reactions to the dress from “toxic men” under the headline, “Gucci releases a dress for men to challenge ‘toxic masculinity.’ MGTOWs respond with … toxic masculinity.”
- “Behold the eternal virgin!” said one Reddit user whose response was catalogued by the site.
A social experiment: Simon Thompson, a 32-year-old British actor, volunteered to walk the streets of west London and gauge the public reaction to him wearing a replica of the Gucci dress.
- In an essay for the Daily Mail, Thompson recounted being pleasantly surprised that many pedestrians, especially younger people in some of Londons more progressive neighborhoods, appeared unfazed by his fashion choice.
- However, Thompson said a group of construction workers did point and heckle him, saying, “Yo, he’s wearing a dress!” and “You can’t wear that!”
- “It revealed that it’s only when you get a group of them together that the mob mentality and toxic masculinity can really show itself,” Thompson wrote. “It was like they felt they needed to make it clear they weren’t OK with it, when deep down they probably couldn’t care less.”