Why Fashion Should Be Political.
Music by: Simon Sizer – Aethra.
It’s Pavel with CULTED.
The question of whether fashion should be political is one we hear a lot, and with the ongoing Black Lives Matter Protests, combating black oppression, the question comes up again.
Let’s not forget that this is not only a political issue, but first and foremost it is a human rights movement.
So, is it the powerful and influential fashion industry’s position to take a stance? To comment on anti-racism? Well, the answer is yes. And not only should fashion be political, but the industry also has a long history of political engagement.
Brands have been known to make donations to a number of political movements. For example, in 2018, Gucci donated $500,000 to the anti-gun movement following a school shooting in Florida, and their Pre-Fall campaign was fully inspired by protests and marches for change.
Whether it’s Christopher Bailey’s LQBTQ+ dedicated AW18 show, where he presented a rainbow-coloured collection, or Vivienne Westwood’s AW19 show in protest of climate change, fashion is no stranger to politics, and designers have never shied away from politicised shows.
We all remember Chanel’s SS15 show, which ended in models walking the runway carrying protest signs with slogans such as “pro-feminist” and “ladies first”. And Dior has also been vocal, sending models down the runway in t-shirts reading “We Should All be Feminists”.
It’s clear that certain brands are making an effort, for example Gucci’s Changemaker’s Program and Fund is aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion, offering scholarship programs for undergraduates and more.
However, the industry is far from doing enough in the fight against racial injustice. And in the words of designer and fashion consultant Willy Ndatira “why is racism still not a worthy cause?”.
So guys, how do you think fashion could do better?
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