Activism on the Runway

New York fashion week is taking place from February 9-17, 2017 for the Fall/Winter collections, but this time it involves a unique twist. Many models walked the runway wearing clothes which had messages promoting certain political viewpoints. The majority of the messages were related to feminist movements, anti-Trump campaigns, and quotes referring to the loss of humanity.

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19-year-old model Bella Hadid walked the runway wearing a shirt which read, “The future is female” in the collection by designer Prabal Gurung. The designer featured an entire line of activist T-shirts inspired by his experience during the Women’s March he participated in January.

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At the start of Mark Hoffman’s show, four of the co-founders of the Washington Women’s March were invited to appear on stage as an opening appearance before the models. The women were of diverse nationalities and backgrounds, uniting together to promote the strength of women worldwide.

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Designer Jonathan Simkhai stepped out at the end of his show wearing a T-shirt with “Feminist AF” written on it. Though the acronym “AF” isn’t appropriate to define for all audiences, in brief it is the equivalent of showing strong support and dedication for a certain issue. He handed out shirts with the same design to the viewers in the front aisle of the runway in support of Planned Parenthood. He went ahead to donate $5 for each person participating as a viewer in this show to the cause.

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 Blogger Aimee Song was one of the several people spotted at the event wearing clothing which portrayed negative messages referring to the recent U.S. presidential elections. Her jacket contained the phrase “No walls between us”, in reference to the recent plans for the Mexican border wall construction.
At the end of the day, fashion is a method of expression and art. Whether or not it should collide with the issues and bitterness of the real world is controversial and personal to each person. Should political statements make way into the fashion industry? You be the judge.
-Tatevik Kyurkchyan
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