If you have been paying attention to hot button social issues lately, you probably know that gender non-conformity has become a hot button issue.

From the fashion standpoint, there are those who want to know if or when it is okay for men to where womenswear and women to wear menswear, although the latter has been far less controversial. Now, what if there was a brand that had no marriage to masculine or feminine or male or female? Liu Sal creative director and founder Tony Stephens has given us just that.

Stephens started Liu Sal in 2014 because he always wanted his own clothing line. He began with shoes, bags and hats, then moved on to tops to go with them.

He started his first clothing line in 2009 after getting a contract with New Era. The backing from the company allowed him to do his own line of hats, but unfortunately he didn't have a lot of business experience at the time and didn't find the success he wanted with his first endeavor. However, he wasn't letting it get him down, and he's a man who believes in learning from his mistakes.

"I don't see my first endeavor as a failure," Stephens said. "I learned from my mistakes. People think just because you fail it is over, but that just tells you what you did wrong so you can fix it the next time."

One thing he learned was how to maximize on minimalism. His first iteration of the collection that he presented during a small, private invitation presentation during NYFW: Men's featured only about six styles, but they were done in multiple colorways, giving the appearance of having numerous styles.

Although the line proudly describes itself as genderless, Stephens didn't seek out to make a big political statement, but, rather, he just wanted to do a unisex line and cut costs.

"When I first started trying to do the line, all I was able to get were male models because they were more affordable" he said. "So I changed my strategy, and went with the objective that you shouldn't be judged by what you wear, you should be able to do what you want."

Without aiming toward any singular gender demographic, he still has a clear vision for who he wants his customer to be. He's aiming for the West 4th Street, SoHo and East Village fashionistas and fashionistos who shop on sites like Farfetch.com and at retailers like Opening Ceremony.

His focus right now is on getting e-commerce and wholesale accounts. He will be presenting the collection to buyers from July 17 to the 19 at Capsule's annual summer tradeshow. He's certainly filling a space in the market by doing genderless streetwear.





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