Born in 1922, Rudi Gernreich was an Austrian-born, American-based, fashion designer who helped define the innovative fashion styles of the sixties and beyond. He used his designs as a means of making social statements to advance women’s rights and sexual freedom. He created clothes and designs that fell naturally on and accentuated the female body -- he was the first designer to create the thong bathing suit and his iconic braless monokini has been referenced endlessly.
Over the past several years, many new and emerging designers (including many that we love so much here at OC) have broken the mold of gendered fashion -- creating clothes that are androgynous and truly unisex. Rudi Gernreich is regarded as one of -- if not, the -- first designer to truly bend the rules and expectations of gendered fashion. With his Unisex Project in 1970, Rudi Gernreich shaved all the body hair of one male and one female model, put them in identical outfits -- pushing us to question the concept of gender as a social construct -- at a time when the word “gender” itself was not an everyday term.
Though his designs are featured in museums such as the Met, there are too many millennials that have not heard his name, though they’ve surely seen his designs.
Rudi Gernreich was a designer whose values and beliefs line up well with our philosophy here at OC to use our platforms in the fashion industry to incite social change. We are very excited and honored to be partnering with his team to bring back some of his most iconic designs and new, reimagined styles, exclusively at Opening Ceremony this season.