Even today, when a woman is named as the creative director of the fashion house, it’s still great news. However, when we met with talented male stylists, male hairdressers and male buyers, we barely blinked our eyes. This is not to say that women are men’s clothes, they are. Swear it. Just not a lot. So, sorry (not sorry), please indulge us, because we drew attention to Alix Rutsey and her interesting fashion work. Rutsey is a menswear buyer for Ssense, a luxury online retailer in Montreal. We asked her how she got her start, whether the gender-neutral fashion was here and whether the work affected her own style.
How did you get started?
I’ve always been interested in fashion, but I never thought of it as a real career at first. I went to school, and in the summer after graduation, I decided to take the plunge and apply for an internship in the purchasing department of luxury department stores. I got my first job as an assistant buyer.
Is it unusual for women to do this job?
It’s funny, my name is Alix, and I’m a menswear buyer, so most of the people I’m speaking via email automatically assume I’m a man. When I first walked into the showroom and introduced myself, I saw a lot of confusion. That said, I wouldn’t say it’s unusual, but not too many women buy men’s clothing. I never really focused on being a woman of most men. I’ve been trying to be the best at what I’ve done and have a strong relationship with anyone who works with me. I am very lucky to be able to work in a community and industry that supports and embraces women.
How you will define your personal style.
I’ve always found this question difficult to answer. Mostly my goal is comfort. I mixed a lot of convenient staples, jeans and sneakers, and major designer investment projects. Recently I’ve been wearing a lot of shirts and t-shirts and jeans. I also added a lot of retro work, which was the only shopping option for my trip. I recently went to Tokyo for the first time and was blown away by all the old-fashioned shops. My uniform routine is very simple. A white T-shirt, jeans or pants, and a pair of sneakers. I almost always have some jewelry, but once again it’s simple – little iron rings, chains, watches and rings. Fashion week sometimes feels a bit overwhelming and provides a great outfit for the show, but the reality is that I work there, from the showroom to the showroom. I can’t wear things that are uncomfortable or make me difficult to work.
What are your predictions for men’s wear trends in 2018?
Although every season there are some common themes (SS18 printing short sleeve shirt, for example), but our focus is not to buy seasonal trend, but more to show each narrative designer said. In the past few years, men’s clothing has grown so fast, and it has led to more games and experimental leanings. We continue to see designer and our customers, from a traditional conservative men’s clothing design to more imaginative way, using different colors and designs, with the proportion of different shapes and to experiment.
Do you think menswear and gender-neutral clothing are connected in any way?
Of course, both men’s and women’s wear are associated with gender-neutral clothing. Fashion is a reflection of the world we live in, and strict gender constraints are becoming obsolete. Clothing is a form of expression, a form of personal identity. Although I wear a lot of men’s clothes, I don’t necessarily describe myself as a “gender-neutral” style. It’s just my style. I think the less we try to incorporate styles into different trends or categories, the more we encourage expression of freedom, which is when the most interesting things happen.
What are some of the radar-looking men’s wear designers you’re advocating?
I’m a big fan of Martine Rose, and I love NAPA x Martine Rose. I am very excited about Kiko Kostadinov and the company, both of whom are new to SSENSE’s new season.
What designers always get its rights?
Kawakubo is both a designer and a powerful female role model.
Do you think that gender-neutral fashion is a trend or a trend to stay here?
Although it feels a bit like a trend, I believe this is what we will continue to see. Menswear designers are increasingly exploring what has traditionally been defined as women, and vice versa.
Of course, there are some people who have adopted more gender-neutral aesthetics, because it seems like there is a moment when these people will eventually move towards a new trend, which is normal. However, there will also be people like me who continue to live in this space, because this is where he feels most comfortable. I never consciously set out to achieve a gender-neutral look, and I think it was a natural attraction for me.
Can a crooked girl wear this?
Of course. There are no rules who can and can’t wear what. So far, the most important thing is to feel what you’re wearing. Confidence is sexy.