The frustration of trying to find well-fitting gender neutral clothing was the push behind the creation of ‘Afternoon S/HE’The frustration of trying to find well-fitting gender-neutral clothing was the push behind the creation of ‘Afternoon S/HE’ – Australia’s first women’s androgynous fashion festival launching in August 2017.

Produced by the founders of KOA Collective, an ethical androgynous online fashion retailer set to launch in early 2018, ‘Afternoon S/HE’ will feature live music, contemporary dance, drag, and burlesque performances alongside a showcase of some of the fashion industry’s leading independent, gender-neutral labels.

Festival producers and co-founders of KOA Collective, Em Matthews and Carly Woods, encourage anyone with a love of androgynous fashion and tomboy style clothing to join them for an afternoon of fun in a welcoming LGBTQIA-friendly environment.

“We created Afternoon S/HE for women who may have had trouble finding contemporary gender-neutral styles and shapes that fit correctly – just like us,” says Matthews. “Our aim is to make buying clothes effortless – even fun! No more awkwardness in the men’s department with shirts that don’t button up around your hips.”

Woods added: “This festival is for folk of all body types. Everyone is invited to come and find clothes that support their individuality, within a like-minded community environment that cheers for self-expression without judgement.

“We want every single person to walk out feeling crisp, confident and inspired.”

Held at the Red Rattler Theatre in Marrickville, Afternoon S/HE is set to attract a plethora of empowered women who are mindful of conscious consumerism, and who actively seek to support independent, ethical businesses.

Matthews says: “We want to keep the dialogue open about ethical fashion because sustainable fashion is a feminist issue – the reality is that women account for the vast majority of workers in the fashion supply chain, and we want to encourage consumers to think about where their clothes are coming from.”

The feature label of the event, flying in from New York, is Kirrin Finch – producers of eco-conscious menswear-inspired button-ups and bowties. Kirrin Finch is not currently stocked in any Australian retailer.

Joining will be Tom Boi – purveyors of ethical underwear for the conscious tomboy, and Fairtees – fashionable, quality organic and fair-trade unisex apparel, with more to be announced.

“We think people are going to love the labels showcasing at Afternoon S/HE,” said Woods. “People often tell us how difficult it is to find good quality, stylish androgynous labels; we truly feel we’ve taken the hard work out of the equation by sourcing the best of the best and bringing them right here for the community to enjoy.”

Starting at 12 pm and running until 5 pm, Afternoon S/HE will also feature artisan food and performances from a range of talent, including Drag King God, Jayvante Swing and burlesque sensation, Alikeen Killer.