Reshaping Fashion Through Gender Neutral Designs with Jacqueline Loekito

“You have to be fully in love with your own work, keep pushing that boundaries and believe in your products” – Jacqueline Loekito

If you are starting out your business, the best way is to take a leaf from successful entrepreneurs and how they build their brands online. One of the great way is to build a business with a purpose. Embracing diversity through her designs, Jacqueline Loekito, a gender neutral fashion designer based in Basel, seeks to change the fashion landscape by pushing past gender norms. She strongly believes that everyone should have the freedom to dress, unrestricted by norms and rules. Her brand has been featured on Vogue Italia, Vogue Germany, L’OFFICIEL HOMMES, KUNST, NYLON China, Hunger Magazine, Country and Townhouse, and more.

I met Jacqueline at the Mode Suisse 16 fashion show and absolutely loved how her label and collection echoed her views towards gender equality and equal representation. Her “You We Us” collection is a bold refreshing splash of pastel colours designed for both men and women. Her careful selection of models for the runway is exemplary of diversity and equal representation. Check out her interesting collection:

What is gender neutral fashion?
The debate about the future of fashion is ongoing. What is in trend? Is a new style merely a fad or will it be revolutionary? The fashion industry has long faced critics on its need to embrace diversity. Today, we see more diversity as it continues to be reshaped by a new generation of consumers and fashion designers. Gender neutral fashion is the way forward. Watch the clip below to get an idea about what gender neutral fashion is.

Hear out the inspirations behind her works, entrepreneurial tips and how she had come so far 

Briefly introduce yourself
My name is Jacqueline Loekito, born from British mother and Indonesian father. I grew up in Jakarta and London. Five years ago, I decided to move to Basel, Switzerland for love and to do my master degree. I graduated from MA Studio Fashion Design FHNW HGK in Basel in January 2018. I decided to really focus on building up a small company of my own. I did collections and shows every seasons here in Switzerland, stocked in a few stores and own my webshop.

Did you face any struggle as a female entrepreneur?
I think fashion is very universal so the struggle is for everyone, not any specific gender, especially when you don’t have a big financial backup. The daily struggle for me, at this point, is that I still view my company as an expensive hobby. Even big fashion companies are in big debts and trying to sell to make ends meet.

Why did you decide to start your online store?
It was the easiest way to be connected with my direct clients. It also meant that there will be no third party merchants, where I have to pay them extra as commission fees. My PR agency in London help me handle my press and showroom but if they sell my items to the department store, they too charge a commission. At the end of the day, you are left with nothing (to profit from).  In my opinion, your brand need to be stable and consistent for more than 10 years to be able to have a good turnover and starting to enjoy the fruits.

Your fashion label pushes for gender equality where your designs are gender neutral or more so, blurring the lines. Could you share with us more on this?
Since I started fashion in 2006, I have always view it as having the freedom to dress. Growing up in Jakarta, the dress code is very restricted as Indonesia has one of the biggest Muslim populations in the world. There, you see men wearing dresses or sarongs as daily wear and that is very normal. After I moved to London, I felt a strong sense of liberation. People dress according to their own beliefs. Dressing is considered something very individual and no one is judging you for that. That contrast is just so refreshing. For me, any gender should dress how they want without any rules or restrictions by society.

Any advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs out there?
You have to be fully in love with your own work, keep pushing that boundaries and believe in your products.

Jacqueline Loekito is a gender neutral fashion designer based in Basel. She was nominated for Textile Award at Graduate Fashion Week David Millband 2011. She was also the finalist in ‘Styled to Rock UK 2012’, a fashion competition that was executive produced by Rihanna. In London, she was a stylist and freelance designer and in Paris, she created outfits for Ubisoft for Just Dance 4. Currently, apart from designing, she is teaching fashion at Fachhochschule Nordwestshweiz (FHNW).

Mei Qi

Deep diving from events marketing to digtal marketing, I am currently a Masters student in Online Business and Marketing at HSLU. On usual days, you may find me sipping coffee at a cafe or jetting off to another country to explore the world.

View all posts by Mei Qi →

10 thoughts on “Reshaping Fashion Through Gender Neutral Designs with Jacqueline Loekito

    1. Thank you Maya! There will be a couple more similar posts where I interview female entrepreneurs.
      Stay tune 🙂

    2. I’m not a fan of Jacqueline Loekito’s designs but I applaud the concept, and it’s interesting to read about her experiences in this concise but comprehensive article.

    1. Thank you! Glad you like it. Everything is changing and I believe the fashion world is a reflection of how society has evolved over the years to be more inclusive

  1. Love this post about female entrepreneurs, especially reading about their motivations. Please do more : )

    1. thanks for the encouragement! I will cover more interview posts on female entrepreneurs as well as some tips. There will be an article about how to freelance multiple jobs that will be published tomorrow. Watch the space 🙂

  2. Apart from starting a business just to make money, it’s important to always remember the “job to be done” and how your product makes consumers’ lives better. Love how this article brings out a different perspective of fashion, not just to clothe, but to make a statement. Well written!! Looking forward to more articles like this (:

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