"Similar to Story is The Phluid Project, challenging the exclusivity of brick-and-mortar retail experiences of the past, creating an ‘experiential platform’ that opens doors to everyone by eliminating gendered fashion and challenging the boundaries we’ve come to expect from clothing. There’s a line in their mission statement that stands out; “we check our assumptions at the door,” and it’s certainly what I noticed as I entered. The founder, Rob Smith, is a former Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret and Nike retail executive. In the context of what he’s doing, he describes himself as a maverick. And in terms of brick-and-mortar retail — especially considering Smith’s past experience — this is truly challenging the norm.
Of course, we all can shop free of gender constraints online, but The Phluid Project welcomes me out from behind my screen in a way that makes me feel safe to browse while ultimately helping me to curate my specialized wardrobe amongst a crowd doing the same. The brand brings together like-minded individuals who can share and connect over the brand’s values. There are no restrictions, reinforcing the brand’s open ethos. My boyfriend steps out clutching a bright pink T shirt, me with some loose fitting jeans, both with an unspoken understanding that we’ll probably swap when we get home."