Design > Communication Design

UNI-FORM

OGILVY TAIWAN, Taipei City / VOGUE / 2021

Awards:

Silver Cannes Lions
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Demo Film
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Overview

Credits

Overview

Background

Have you ever stopped to consider: Aren’t uniforms that distinguish between boys and girls a form of gender restriction?

At school, girls are required to wear skirts, and boys are required to wear pants. But in 2019 Banqiao Senior High School dared to challenge this rule, speaking out on behalf of students with different gender expressions. At the school’s anniversary celebration, they invited the school’s boys to wear skirts, all on the same occasion. What followed was an uproar across Taiwan. Conservatives held a protest at the Ministry of Education, and a city councilman called in the school principal for questioning.

Voices respecting diversity should not be silenced. So Vogue Magazine joined forces with acclaimed fashion designer Angus Chiang, to transform the concept from a one-off event into a genuine campus fashion.

Describe the creative idea

The First-ever Gender-neutral Uniform

Project UNI-FORM

Garments are not intrinsically gender-specific. Who says boys can’t wear skirts? In Project UNI-FORM, we asked fashion designer Angus Chiang to design a line of uniforms for girls and boys alike, with design choices that students can freely mix and reshape however they want. Combining shirts and skirts, jackets and one-piece dresses, they’re equally fashionable and practical. Regardless of gender, body type or habits, everyone can reshape the uniforms with zippers and drawstrings, however they feel most comfortable: If you like, pull a zipper and turn your shirt into a dress. If you’re confident of your figure, pull a drawstring, so the waist and arms hug your body... We designed a line of uniforms that everyone feels at ease wearing, in the hope that everyone respects everyone else’s choices and appearance.

Describe the execution

Project UNI-FORM created a line of uniforms suitable for girls and boys alike. Combining shirts and skirts, jackets and one-piece dresses, they’re equally fashionable and practical. And students can mix and reshape them, creating the look that perfectly says “me.” We started with the school badges on the uniforms. Referencing the common habit among students of filling in the empty parts in English letters with colored pens, we redesigned the school badges in brightly colored patterns, adding other elements, like spontaneously pieced-together color blocks and the grid lines for writing Chinese characters found in exercise books. Then we unveiled it to the world, with a launch event during Taipei Fashion Week, a presence in Vogue’s online shop, and an official Instagram account. And we designed a lookbook and official website in the style of Taiwanese homework books.

List the results

With zero media budget, the project generated 14M in earned media value. A single line of uniforms made all of Taiwanese society ponder some basic but important questions: Why do clothes distinguish between males and females? Can we allow every person to decide for themselves what they will look like? Internet influencers livestreamed wearing UNI-FORMs, and Taiwan’s biggest bands took to the stage with UNI-FORMs on. The campaign even gained the attention of the Ministry of Education and the president, and was featured in school textbooks.

Most gratifying of all, we received extremely positive feedback from students: “Regardless of gender, we can all be comfortable in the UNI-FORM.” And we inspired students from other places around the world to transcend their own restrictions.

From now on, the “UNI” in “uniform” stands for “Unisex” and “Unique.” We didn’t just change how uniforms look. We changed what they mean.

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