Finland Department Store Opens Gender Neutral Level

September 12, 2018

The largest department store in Scandinavia has taken a stance against gender norms with the launch of a gender-neutral clothes shopping floor situated between the men’s and women’s departments.

Finland’s Stockmann store, in the heart of Helsinki, which was founded in 1862, is known for its bold campaigns such as changing its name to Stockwomann in celebration of International Women’s Day.

The gender neutral floor called “One Way” comes as fashionistas all over the world are exploring the possibilities of creating a bespoke style by combining items from renowned fashion houses, such as Burberry and Kenzo, and buying liberally from both departments.

The name of the shopping floor concept speaks for itself. There is only one way in style; your own.

With One Way, Stockmann wants to question old-fashioned norms and limits when it comes to dressing.

“Department stores, especially, tend to stick with outdated norms when it comes to how they allocate their offering under different departments,” said Laura Paikkari, Creative Director of TWBA\Helsinki, Finland’s international, most decorated marketing agency.

“At the same time consumers are already buying quite liberally from both departments,” she said.

“This is definitely a statement for equality. And brands that take a stand for what they believe in are the ones who shape the future.”

Anna Salmi, CCO at Stockmann added: “We believe that men’s and women’s departments should function as guidelines to finding the clothes that best fit your shape and style rather than definite rules to follow.”

“With One Way we wanted to style and curate a selection of clothes that might not be designed ‘unisex’ but that work perfectly for all people,” she said.

“Our aim is to inspire our customers to forget the rules and shop unbiasedly.”  Salmi adds.

As fashion month began this week, it remains to be seen whether gender-neutrality will become the dominating trend this fall.

*Stockmann offers its customers contemporary fashion experiences and inspiring shopping experiences in its department stores and the online store