(From AFP)

No stranger to barrettes, bows and beauty products, Japanese Instagram icon and model Genking is a proud flag bearer for “genderless” fashion in which young men adopt unequivocally feminine styles and challenge traditional norms.

Unisex clothing in Asia boasts a long history

Although women around the world have taken to menswear in droves – sporting trousers since the 1930s when French fashion legend Coco Chanel put her equestrian clients in pants – the sight of a man in a skirt still raises eyebrows in the West. In much of Asia, however, unisex clothing – whether in the form of a traditional shalwar kameez, sarong or kimono – boasts a long history, while popular theatrical traditions regularly feature gender-bending performances.

Genking’s long bleached blond locks, curled eyelashes and fondness for both womenswear and menswear testify to a self-professed identity as a “genderless” person.

Born Genki Tanaka, Genking fell in love with fashion at an early age, dreaming of Chanel purses and pastel pink accessories.

“My mother was pretty tolerant. … But in those days, I still didn’t want to admit my feminine side and I was kind of trying to hide it,” Genking said. “When I turned 20, I quit pretending.”

Genking set up an Instagram account where selfies showcase a style that has attracted nearly 850,000 followers, kicking off a television career and culminating in a catwalk appearance at the packed Tokyo Girls Collection show last year. Read More.

Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world's first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now. 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *