Frilly dresses, oversized collars, poplins, and shoes with buckles are scaring men away, and we love it.
When I’m not at school or writing articles, I am working as a client advisor at Ganni. If you aren’t familiar with Ganni, they are a Danish mid-luxury brand that embraces femininity with collared poplins, frilly dresses, bows as ties, and bold patterns on clothes. Some people might classify Ganni as creating clothing that’s almost seen as frivolous, but I think that’s what dressing up is all about. As a result, I feel Ganni has a niche audience. I have met customers who weren’t acquainted with Ganni but entered the store because they were mesmerized by the vibrant colors, architecture, and enticing window displays.
I’ve experienced a plethora of customer interactions that made me feel happy, thankful, and inquisitive, but also sad.
When I think of the interactions that have made me sad, it isn’t when a guest is yelling at me (to the point where it’s almost dehumanizing) because a return cannot be processed, but it’s when women come into their store with their boyfriends/husbands. I’ve seen women enter the store so thrilled to try on a pair of shoes they saw on the window display as they walked by. Then, I see their monotone boyfriends with hands in their pockets, looking aloof and nonchalant, reprimanding the shoes their loved one is trying on. Then, they go sit on the couch which I have retitled as the “boyfriend/husband waiting area.”
On one occasion, a lady tried on these blazing red buckled ballerina flats that went viral on TikTok. She loved how they looked and felt but wanted to return with her husband and get his opinion. The next time I worked a shift, my coworker told me about how she helped a woman try on a pair of the same flats, but her husband expressed pure contempt for the viral shoe. My coworker said that the husband went so far that he made a throwing-up face when she asked how the shoe looked on her. Wild right?
But I'm not done with the stories. Another time, a girlfriend was excited to try on the iconic cowboy boot with the heart stitching, and her boyfriend ended up mansplaining how genuine cowboy boots are supposed to feel. The girlfriend looked amazing with the boots, and she looked so happy. I couldn’t understand how someone could purposefully rain on someone’s parade in a cute little store.
While the shoes have been receiving harsh reviews from some boyfriends, it’s the frilled collared poplin where all the boyfriends have a united stand. I have seen numerous women come out of fitting rooms feeling prideful in the cute, girlypop poplin to show their boyfriends expecting praise and raving reviews, only to find a quizzical and disoriented look coming from their boyfriends. Immediately, they start shaking their heads in disapproval. I can hear them silently talk about the top in which the girlfriend goes, “you don’t like it?” and the boyfriend goes, “no, you look like a grandma.” The girlfriend briefly looks sad and walks into the fitting room, changing into her clothes, and then they both walk out of the store. I can hear the couple go, “Let’s go to Aritzia” from the register.
It wasn’t until one day when I was wearing this multi-patterned and multi-colored Ganni cardigan as I was crossing the street to get to work that I asked myself, “Is Ganni a man repellent?” When I was crossing the street, a man didn’t even attempt hiding the fact that he was staring at my cardigan with complete bewilderment, and then he said, “Your cardigan? It’s very festive.” I replied, “Thanks!” I started to
realize I’ve only gotten compliments from women, and it’s only been men that have this negative almost repulsive reaction to my Ganni pieces.
If you visit Ganni.com, you’ll see a hashtag that says calling all the #GanniGirls. And that’s exactly what this is all about. I love seeing fashion girlies walk into the store seeing a vision that many are blind to. They’re the reason that the buckled ballerinas and poplins are having a fashion moment on TikTok. Ganni is for the girls. It calls for free-spirited individuals to let playfulness and quirkiness seize the day. Not caring for the stares and opinions that are constrained within strangers. You just keep walking in your Ganni boots until your reach your destination; because those boots are made for slaying. Men just wouldn’t understand this.