We have to applaud fashion designers who use their platform to speak out about our country’s current political climate: Prabal Gurung’s clothing had such a strong, feminist statement (and impression), that it made Bella Hadid cry; and the CFDA is doing its part with the Fashion Stands With Planned Parenthood initiative. Now Mara Hoffman chose to kick off her fashion show by magnifying the voices behind the Women’s March on Washington.
Before Mara’s collection debuted, Women’s March co-chairs civil rights activists Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, Brooklyn designer Bob Bland, and singer/activist Carmen Perez gave a joint speech about the importance of empowering marginalized women.
Dressed in all black, the women read the words of activists like Angela Davis, Audre Lorde, and Maya Angelou, in addition to the Women’s March’s mission statement.
The Women’s March co-chairs explained in a joint statement to Refinery29 that they felt compelled to participate in Hoffman’s presentation. “So many of our communities are being stripped away from basic human rights, that we must all come together and use our platforms to stand together,” they said. “We commend Mara and other designers who have made a public stance on today’s political climate. The days of just sitting back and hoping for change are no longer an option.”
The show was a feminism-inspired dance featuring models wearing Mara’s new collection as Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Woman was read in the background over percussion. “This is the chance to show that there can be a cross section of fashion, politics, and activism in the name of social justice and women’s empowerment,” Mara said in a statement. “These are necessary things for all people.”
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(h/t Huffington Post; photos via Michael Stewart/Getty)