On the heels of the pantsuit-clad flash mob who danced to Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop That Feeling" in Union Square last week ...
Saturday is being declared National Pantsuit Day, when men and women will gather in Lower Manhattan, wearing pantsuits of all stripes and colors and, according to the invitation, march in "shoulder-padded unity" across the Brooklyn Bridge to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's headquarters, culminating in a full-on pantsuit party. Matching sets are encouraged, as is "professional attire that will make your mother proud."
The brains behind the grassroots pantsuit parade is Sami Kriegstein, a 30-year-old freelance producer who recently moved to Greenpoint, Brooklyn, from Los Angeles, where she founded the L.A. Music Video Festival and represented top YouTube talent.
Looking around her millennial social circles and on the streets, Kriegstein realized she wasn't seeing any Clinton supporters dressing the part. She would see people in Trump hats and still wearing their Bernie tees, but no one was "marking" themselves for Clinton.
A photo posted by Fuck Yeah, Pantsuits (@nationalpantsuitday) on Oct 14, 2016 at 1:49pm PDT
Kriegstein wasn't wearing her political leanings on her sleeve, either. So she decided to do something about it. "Part of embracing Hillary is embracing who she is," says Kriegstein. "She's a little frumpy and dorky - and so is the pantsuit. So I thought, why not double-down on that?"
She decided to make a statement with fashion. "There's something so elegant about making a visual argument," says Kreigstein. "Where you don't have to get into specifics about what you agree and don't agree with - just put on a pantsuit, flood the streets and show people where your loyalties lie."
She has been curating a "pantsuits wish list" with the help of eBay, but before Kriegstein chooses what to wear for the main event, she's waiting for a few options culled from her mom's and grandma's closets. "I think one of them might have a fabulous Chanel number from the '80s," she says.
Kriegstein actually had the idea for the march before the Timberlake flash mob took place. "I was a little bummed," she says about being scooped by those other suits. "But it's OK. It's all toward the same end."
A photo posted by Fuck Yeah, Pantsuits (@nationalpantsuitday) on Oct 13, 2016 at 9:09pm PDT
Since posting the Facebook event and launching the website last week, people around the country have been pantsuit shopping, from Los Angeles to Boston, where they're organizing their own National Pantsuit Day marches - if, unofficially, as they're still pinning down permits in L.A. (Check nationalpantsuitday.com for updates.) In Manhattan, the event will kick off this Saturday at 3 p.m. in Foley Square, where organizers will be handing out strings of faux pearls (a la Mardi Gras beads) and hoisting posters of pioneering women from the past.
Kriegstein is excited that her kernel of an idea has so quickly caught on, bolstered by a trio of friends and a partnership with Daybreaker, which hosts sober, early-morning rave-like dance parties. "We've got people driving in from Iowa!" she says. "And wives from around the country are sending us pics of their husbands in suits and kitten heels." Whether 200 or 200,000 people show up, Kriegstein says she doesn't care.
A photo posted by Fuck Yeah, Pantsuits (@nationalpantsuitday) on Oct 17, 2016 at 10:19pm PDT
The granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Kriegstein sees parallels between Trump's rhetoric and Hitler's. "If I had lived back in the '30s, I like to think I would've stood up to a fascist Europe," she says. "I want to be able to look back at this moment in time and know I did something."
Kriegstein also is planning to donate all of the pantsuits to "Dress for Success," and partnering with a fashion label who she's hoping will donate more "contemporary" pantsuits. "As visually awesome as this is gonna be, the old-school pantsuits are probably less useful for women looking to reach a new level in their careers. They'll need more viable options."
Maybe Clinton's suit maker of choice, Ralph Lauren, could lend a hand.