News this week revealed that 17 year old Jaden Smith is to become the face of Louis Vuitton's Spring womenswear campaign. Teenage models are nothing new, though, so why has this been the headline to grace all headlines in celebrity gossip columns this week? Easy. The model wearing the skirt that's set to be a top seller for Vuitton this year is a male. In a year where gender is a hot topic the world over, it's impossible to ignore the rapidly adapting gender of fashion.
2015 saw Caitlyn Jenner gracing the cover of Vanity Fair as transgender, and yet Jaden Smith has fallen into another category entirely, one that we really needed the print media to encourage and gravitate towards. This isn't a declaration of gender on a magazine print, this is unapologetic, no explanations, Jaden Smith looking perfectly content in a skirt with no pretext at all; and that's important, it's the first real step that high fashion has taken towards taking the labels away from the clothes that they're producing, and maybe it's a small step but it's undeniably a bold one.
In a generation that's taking gender by the horns and twisting it until it's fluid and flexible - Jaden Smith is exactly what the world needs to see in high fashion; someone like the generation that we're a part of - somebody high profile who is doing this job for themselves and not allowing it to be made more than them wearing the clothes that they like. Jaden Smith has been an idol for a number of months, but this is more than just a strong financial move for Louis Vuitton, this is a bold moral move and - who knows - maybe it won't lead to anything, but maybe it's setting the place for similar models to rise and take their places.
Fashion are taking a step and it's not in the adapting gender of people, it's in the adapting gender of the clothes themselves. In a world where tuxedos are seen on female celebrities red carpets the world over, Louis Vuitton is turning this on it's head and reminding us that clothes are clothes, and the people inside them can fall into any gender that they wish - the garments don't have to define them. They're undoubtedly going to come across criticism, but the fact is that Louis Vuitton have done what other fashion brands simply aren't brave enough to - they've taken the gender out of fashion and adapted it in the way the world needed them to.
What do you think about Jaden Smith's new campaign?