“Last summer I was recovering from top surgery and I started Googling ‘trans clothing,’” said Shepard. “I wasn’t very impressed.”
That’s where the idea for Both& Apparel sprouted.
“I interviewed and surveyed a bunch of people, and it turns out that the things that don’t work out for us are pretty common,” Shepard said. “It’s not really rocket science from a design perspective.”
Shepard's brand is based on building a different fit and sizing system.
“It's not all trans men who shop from us, but I think the simplest way to describe it is that the people who like our clothing the most are people who were assigned female at birth, but all want to present themselves in masculine way,” explained Shepard.
“Some identify as nonbinary, some trans-masculine, some are lesbians who want the masculine style,” Shepard continued. “We actually have a big fan base of cis women in Japan.”
Shepard is passionate about rejecting the binary system that’s left trans people out of fashion. As a vocal leader of the trans community, he says gender identity through fashion is more nuanced and complex than baggy fitting clothes and gender neutral colors.
“Not everyone wants to be trying to erase gender in their presentation,” said Shepard. “Many people want a more accurate way of expressing gender identity, and brands haven’t yet seen that or innovate fit to accommodate that.”
To learn more, visit bothandapparel.com.