These designers used fashion to make fearless political and social statements on the runway.
With the current social climate in the state that it’s in, it’s hard if not impossible to ignore some of the biggest issues facing us all. This season, fashion certainly wasn’t exempt from this conversation. Designers made it their mission to spread a message of inclusivity, oneness and resistance to hate. From diverse castings of models, to political statements and strong feminist stances, these are the wokest moments of New York Fashion Week fall 2017.
1. AnaOno Intimates
AnaOno Intimates put on a game changing fashion show featuring women of all backgrounds who are fighting and living with several stages of breast cancer. The show was put on in partnership with New York based non-profit #Cancerland and was a fabulous look at real women, fiercely making their way through one of the biggest fights of their lives.
2. Mara Hoffman
Mara Hoffman opened her fall 2017 fashion show with a moment of solidarity. The designer commissioned four women from diverse backgrounds to talk about what it really means to stand together. With the same spirit as the women’s march, the group delivered their message with perhaps one of the most poignant points being, “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences.”
3. Naeem Khan
Naeem Khan closed out his fall 2017 fashion show with a gorgeous Black model in a regal gold gown. As she descended onto the runway, a poem from Dr. Maya Angelou could be heard playing over the speakers. In the poem titled, “Human Family” Dr. Angelou discusses the similarities among the human race, ending the poem with this profound notion, “we are more alike my friends, than we are unalike.”
4. Public School
Public School is always on the cusp of what’s fresh and new so it makes sense that they’re speaking up about the political climate. The designers made a riff off President Trump’s favorite line “Make America Great Again” by debuting hats that read, “Make America New York Again.” When asked what message they were trying to convey one-half of the duo, Dao-Yi Chow told The Business of Fashion, “We wish the rest of the States were like New York from an inclusivity standpoint, from a diversity standpoint, from an action standpoint.” The brand also printed it’s slogan, “We Need Leaders,” on the back of hoodies presented at the show.
5. Prabal Gurung
Prabal Gurung’s fall 2017 show was the ultimate celebration of feminism. Models were sent down the runway clad in shirts with empowering messages like “the future is female,” “stronger than fear,” and “our minds, our bodies, our power.” In addition to his positive female-centric statement, the designer took his point a step further by featured models with a myriad of backgrounds, shapes and sizes.
6. Phillip Plein
Phillp Plein’s fall 2017 runway show may have been star-studded but that wasn’t the woke factor. The designer commissioned Nas to perform and the rapper made it a point to deliver one of the most thought-provoking songs in his arsenal of music, “If I Ruled the World.” There’s no mistake that Nas chose to perform a song that captures the frustration and desires of Black men in America.
7. Anniesa Hasibaun
Muslim designer Anniesa Hasibaun made a powerful move by enlisting a full cast of immigrant models to walk her fall 2017 runway show. The decision was a direct and strong response to the recent conversation surrounding America’s immigration policies and President Trump’s muslim ban. The designer opened up to ELLE.com about her stance saying, “Difference is not something to be afraid of—it’s something you should embrace,” she said. “We have this vision and mission of bringing peace, and fashion is one of the means we can use to spread these beautiful values to the world.”
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