In trend, questions surrounding gender swirl across the business: Who will get to put on which clothes gadgets? Can we nonetheless want siphoned-off menswear and womenswear runway exhibits? What actually contains a gender-neutral garment or trend line? Amid these conversations, Syro emerged. Based simply three brief years in the past, the shoe model’s targets are to not break the principles a lot as to create a brand new paradigm for an oft-underserved client demographic out there: males and gender-nonconforming individuals who need to put on excessive heels.
Once you head to the “About” part of the model’s web site, its self-description is equal components concise and intentional. “Syro is a queer POC enterprise based mostly in New York Metropolis,” it reads.
“It’s as a result of it’s merely the reality,” co-founder Henry Bae tells me. “And I believe we would like that actually to be identified as a result of we had a concern early on that gender-nonconforming type could be eaten up by a bigger mainstream in upcoming years. And we needed to guard what was real about our id and our femininity — our id as minorities, actually.”
This purposefulness, and the convenience with which they articulate it, is central right here. For example, the model doesn’t name itself “gender-neutral” (as is the popular time period for a lot of corporations as of late), however “gender-nonconforming“ as an alternative, which is to strip the gendered modifier of its energy over the clothes itself. Certain, anybody of any gender can technically put on something — similar goes for make-up, skincare, and practically any subsection of magnificence and trend — however it’s one factor for a model to say its merchandise are for all clients and a completely completely different factor to create it with emphases on dimension inclusivity and gender-inclusive advertising proper from the beginning.
Bae, who’s 28 and identifies as a gender-nonconforming queer/homosexual man, and co-founder Shaobo Han, who’s 28 and in addition identifies as gender-nonconforming and queer, first met in New York Metropolis in 2012 through Fb. “Henry knew me as this loud, Asian metropolis child in NYC, whereas I revered his writing on his now-hidden weblog,” Han recollects.
Bae chimes in, “It wasn’t till I met Shaobo that I had a good friend who mirrored such polarizing components of my id — being female, gender-nonconforming, and yellow-American — again at me. It was an exciting and liberating chemistry from the very starting.”
“I’ve all the time wanted excessive heels to suit my look, however may solely match into absolutely the largest girls’s sneakers I may discover. Even then, they’d be slender and it might harm.”
The thought for the model got here out of necessity for Bae, who first shaped the thought for Syro earlier than bringing Han on board. “I’ve all the time wanted excessive heels to suit my look, however I may solely match into absolutely the largest girls’s sneakers I may discover,“ Bae remembers. “Even then, they’d be slender as eff and it might harm, however I nonetheless did it.”
At some point, it dawned on Bae, who had been working within the shoe business for years as a purchaser, vendor, and marketer, that he may create this himself — although not on his personal. That’s when Han, who had been working in graphic design, got here into the enterprise. The model formally launched in 2016.
“On the time, I used to be going by loads of gender-related issues that I used to be dealing with, and doing Syro with Henry really knowledgeable my very own private gender journey,” Han tells me. “It has actually formed who I’m now and my very own sense of self.”
Additionally they noticed it as a chance to cater to an underserved and even unacknowledged demographic of client. “Society would not need to acknowledge, not to mention cater to, femme-presenting gender-nonconforming folx,” Han says. “It is so essential for Syro not solely to promote heels, but additionally to carve out house the place femme folx can rejoice and empower one another — the place we are able to focus our consideration on creating pleasure, and reclaiming the moments of triumph in our narratives.“