NYC Store ‘The Phluid Project’ Specializes in Genderfluid Clothing

ashley.rae | April 6, 2018
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A shop recently up in the Soho neighborhood of New York City to capitalize on the growing genderqueer, genderfluid, and gender non-conforming trend. The store, which calls itself The Phluid Project, says it is dedicated to “redefining gender labels and creating a place for self-expression.”

According to a report by Racked from the soft opening on March 1, the store features “customized gender-free mannequins” and brands that can be universal for any gender like Levi’s.

In addition to selling gender-neutral clothing on mannequins without discernable genders, the store also boasts its own community space for activists to gather. The website for The Phluid Project encourages people to book rooms for meetings ranging from a half hour to an hour.

Mic reports that The Phluid Project has already hosted a preteen drag performer and a gay professional skateboarder.

Racked’s description of the store seems to suggest it has everything a millennial could hope from, from kombucha, to a gender-neutral bathroom, and a “selfie nook.”

Even though the entire focus of the store being to cater to gender-neutral people, it is actually founded by a 53-year-old male, Rob Smith.

Smith addressed the bizarre nature of a 53-year-old man opening a store that caters mostly to gender non-conforming youth. He told Racked he would be skeptical of himself:

If I were a young, genderfluid person, I would be like, ‘What’s this guy’s deal? Is he trying to capitalize on an opportunity?’ Absolutely not. But I would look at me skeptically. I would say, ‘What’s his story?’ and that’s why I will tell my story as much as I can, so people will see it is authentic and nothing more,” he says. “I guess I would say, use me as a voice, use me as a vessel to communicate and share ideas. I think I’m pretty selfless, and I’m a good listener, and I take a lot of ideas and process them and give my best to serve the community.

Racked made sure to note that Smith has already had an issue with the store on the day it opened: he made the faux pas of allowing people to choose their “preferred gender pronouns” instead of just their “pronouns.”

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