These days, politics is always in fashion.
At tonight’s Council of Fashion Designers (CFDA) Gala, there’ll be talk of both pleats and protests, raglan and resistance. The event – usually tame on the political front – will this year highlight radical feminist icon Gloria Steinem, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, and actress and Black Lives Matter supporter Janelle Monae.
Ever since Donald Trump entered Washington, the fashion industry has become more outspoken about its progressive bent. But CFDA president/CEO Steven Kolb told the Washington Post that activism isn’t new for his organization.
“I would say we’ve always been socially engaged,” he told the Post’s Robin Givhan. But this year, the CFDA sought to honor women with “powerful voices” that “resonated” with its mission, and further, to “celebrate what happened [at the march] in Washington.”
Since then, the Council has become actively involved in abortion and immigration issues. In January, it held meetings to brainstorm ways to legalize undocumented fashion industry workers and in February, it sponsored a campaign called “Fashion Stands with Planned Parenthood.”
The increasing politicization of fashion has revealed itself in numerous ways – from ACLU and Planned Parenthood pins at award ceremonies to protest-themed fashion ensembles, to refusals to dress the Trump family.