While part of the fashion industry has been quite vocal in opposing Donald Trump and his policies, many are navigating such challenges as:
- What’s the best way to approach interacting with the Trump family?
- Should designers dress members of a family whose patriarch’s values are out of line with their own?
- How do you deal with an administration that contains members who are seen by some as hostile to LGBT rights, women’s rights, and civil and voting rights?
Many retailers have already distanced themselves from the Ivanka Trump fashion brand. Business of Fashion is leading the political-statement charge for New York Fashion Week, calling upon the industry this month to take a stand and “make a clear statement in support of solidarity, human unity and inclusiveness.”
In a piece published on Wednesday, BoF co-founder and editor in chief Imran Amed asks the fashion industry to wear white bandanas on the runways “as a sign to the world that you believe in the common bonds of humankind — regardless of race, sexuality, gender or religion.”
Amed is asking designers to incorporate the white bandana into their shows, encouraging photographers to key in on street-style subjects wearing the bandana and requesting that editors incorporate the cloth symbols in their coverage. Business of Fashion has also (naturally) added a social media element to the project, asking people to share images of themselves rocking their own white bandanas with the hashtag #TiedTogether.
It’s not the fashion industry’s first NYFW foray into political symbolism, as the CFDA has already announced Fashion Stands With Planned Parenthood, a collaboration between the American fashion industry’s governing body and the threatened health services provider. For that message, pink pins bearing the name of the initiative will be passed out during fashion week. “Civic responsibility is an important CFDA pillar. Defunding Planned Parenthood will impact millions of Americans,” CFDA president and CEO Steven Kolb explained in a statement. “We will raise awareness and support this fashion week and show that Fashion Stands With Planned Parenthood.”
It remains to be seen just how many people will participate in each initiative, but political statements are shaping up to be one of the hottest trends of fashion week, and perhaps all of fashion month. We will be closely watching the runways to see just how outspoken the industry gets this season.