In our society, we are ascribed to a gender. At birth, girls wear pink, and boys wear blue, just so it’s understood exactly which category we fall into. As we mature we can slowly separate from these norms and transition into what is comfortable for us as individuals. Then, there are those unique men and women, which fall into a category that encompasses the best of both feminine and masculine worlds.
Androgynous individuals are defined as having both female and male characteristics in appearance. In the world of fashion, androgyny is adored. Gender-bending models fill the pages of high fashion editorials, and take center stage of every runway from New York City to Paris. The fascination with androgynous people started early on in our history and has not lost its pace.
In fashion, some of the most well-known supermodels are androgynous in appearance. Something about these females in women’s clothing captures the eyes of designers such as, Bottega Veneta, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Hermes. Omahyra Mota is a Santo Domingo born model that has become a face ascribed with androgyny. She stands at 5’9”, and wears a slim size four dress.
At 16 years old she was named one of Paper magazines 60 most beautiful people. She’s appeared in over 20 fashion shows, 3 movies, and one music video for the famed rapper Jay-Z. Mota’s chic punk look is not just her appearance; she also performs with her rock band OMI. Her androgynous appearance has garnered Mota a huge amount of success.
Men can also be androgynous in fashion as well. They can toe the line between masculinity and femininity just like women. One such androgynous male model is Marcel Castenmiller. He started modeling as the face of Kenzo, a French fashion line.
He has since starred in the fashion campaigns of such designers as Gucci, Versace, Benetton, and Sandro. He has walked the runway in nothing less than Hermes, Burberry, Paul Smith, and Demeulemeester. His lithe body frame, long hair, and androgynous features have truly captivated fashion.
In the late 90s, Calvin and Kelly Klein were in search of an androgynous face to lead their new fragrance CK One. While saddling her motorcycle, Jenny Shimizu was approached by a casting director who then introduced her to the Klein’s. The instant they saw Shimizu, she was given the offer to be their campaign leader.
From the, she has become the face of Banana Republic’s American Beauty campaign. She has walked the catwalk for such designers as, Prada, Versace, Jean Paul Gaultier, Donna Karan, Levi’s, J.Crew etc. She was named one of the UK’s 100 Sex Symbols, and E Televisions Sexiest Top Models. Shimizu is a force in fashion.
Androgyny isn’t a new fad, or a youth generation bi-product. Androgyny was a huge part of the first civilizations of Greece, and even for our wig wearing forefathers. It seems society gravitates towards what is unique and beautiful.