Having just properly caught up on NYFW, I gotta say as I sit on the outside looking in – it’s been one of the most interesting weeks in some time. Supercharged with political undertones, the week has seen designers, models & brands become increasingly vocal in their disdain for the status quo. And the fashion crowd can be a noisy bunch when they want to.
Prabal Gurung said it on slogan tees (“The future is female,” “I am an immigrant,” “Revolution has no borders”) and later told Vanity Fair “I think that fashion has a responsibility to provide not an escape, but a reality. An optimistic reality.” Public School left it to their caps embroidered with ‘Make America New York’ while Mara Hoffman’s presentation began with remarks from each of the organisers of The Womens March, encouraging solidarity and tolerance.
And while bold, good intentions are rife at NYFW, you gotta wonder where genuine passion & activism ends and PR begins.
It’s an easy time to make political comments and unfortunately right now, women are easy targets for ‘pro-female’ marketing. It’s a fucking noisy world out there and getting cut-through has never been harder. How do you secure the top story on vogue.com? How do you ensure 412 million uses of your hashtag? A Kardashian/Jenner appearance might get you there but it seems (at least at NYFW) that a strong political statement will definitely get you there.
But whichever way you look at it, proactive ideas to promote awareness of the shit things going on in the world is never a bad thing.
Earlier this month on the eve of NYFW, The Business of Fashion launched their #tiedtogether campaign via the Gigi X Tommy show in Los Angeles.
“BoF invites you to wear a white bandana to join the #TiedTogether movement and make a clear statement in support of solidarity, human unity and inclusiveness amidst growing uncertainty and a dangerous narrative peddling division.”
The CFDA are backing the Planned Parenthood Federation of America with their Fashion Stands With Planned Parenthood campaign designed to raise awareness and promote education around the issue. W Magazine pulled in some of the biggest names in the industry to form a united front with a simple message: I am an immigrant.
Fashion has always reflected the times and thats one of the reasons why I’ve always been so engrossed in it. There’s no denying the world needs unity, optimism & love right now but it’s a fine line between meaningful action and bandwagon-jumping slacktevism for the sake of inclusion or being on-trend.
I’m fascinated to see which way things will go…