Finland's Biggest Department Store Takes a Stance Against Gender Norms - Launches Gender-neutral Shopping Floor For All

“Department stores, especially, tend to stick with outdated norms when it comes to how they allocate their offering under different departments. At the same time consumers are already buying quite liberally from both departments.”, says Laura Paikkari, Creative Director, TBWA\Helsinki.

Finland's Biggest Department Store Takes a Stance Against Gender Norms - Launches Gender-neutral Shopping Floor For All

Known for its bold campaigns, such as changing its name to Stockwomann in celebration of International Women’s Day, the department store is now launching a gender-neutral shopping floor – located physically between men’s and women’s, on the 1.5 floor.

The floor features well-known brands such as Acne Studios, Calvin Klein and Marimekko, that have previously incorporated unisex styles in their collections. Fashionistas all over the world are exploring the possibilities of creating a bespoke style by combining items from renowned fashion houses, such as Burberry and Kenzo, and buying liberally from both departments.

The name of the shopping floor concept, One Way, speaks for itself. There is only one way in style; your own. With One Way, Stockmann wants to question old-fashioned norms and limits when it comes to dressing.

“Department stores, especially, tend to stick with outdated norms when it comes to how they allocate their offering under different departments. At the same time consumers are already buying quite liberally from both departments.”, says Laura Paikkari, Creative Director, TBWA\Helsinki.

“We believe that men’s and women’s departments should function as guidelines to finding the clothes that best fit your shape and style rather than definite rules to follow”, says Anna Salmi, CCO at Stockmann.

“With One Way we wanted to style and curate a selection of clothes that might not be designed ‘unisex’ but that work perfectly for all people. Our aim is to inspire our customers to forget the rules and shop unbiasedly”, Salmi adds.

“This is definitely a statement for equality. And brands that take a stand for what they believe in are the ones who shape the future.” Paikkari finishes.

As fashion month began this week, it remains to be seen whether gender-neutrality will become the dominating trend this fall.