With less than 24 hours to go before Donald Trump gets sworn into office as 45th President of the United States, Washington, D.C. is the current fashion capital of the world–but not for the obvious reasons.
Sure, the ongoing debate of who will dress Melania Trump will finally be put to bed (current front-runners seem to indicate Ralph Lauren and Karl Lagerfeld may be doing the honors), but her one gown-to-be will be met with an estimated 200,000 attendees descending upon the country’s capital for the Women’s March on Washington–not to mention its numerous counterparts in cities worldwide.
Joining the masses and celebrity-folk alike (Cher, Amy Schumer and Jessica Chastain are just a few of the numerous stars who have announced they will be attending) will be the fashion industry, well its more liberal pockets.
In an open letter addressed to “designers and business owners,” Rachel Comey asked her peers to take action, writing, “This is an opportunity for us, the fashion industry, to show that we stand in solidarity with the women who make up the majority of our customers—and the majority of our workforce. Women's rights are human rights. I propose that we, as an industry, seize this moment as the powerful leaders and influencers that we are and act to amplify this message. Please join me in a campaign to support, promote and endorse the march. I've outlined a few ideas for how we can organize; additional ideas are more than welcome.”
The designer goes on to suggest that beyond marching, by donating a portion of sales over the weekend to support various human rights organizations. For her part, Comey will donating 50 precent of all brand sales on Saturday, January 21st to Planned Parenthood. Her New York and Los Angeles stores will be manned solely by the brand’s male staff, as the women on her team take part in their respective cities’ marches.
Los Angeles-based leather goods designer Clare Vivier will be donating a portion of her weekend sales to charity, in addition to heading east to D.C.
“I’m truly looking forward to march in D.C. together with a group of incredible female designers and entrepreneurs, alongside the millions who are gathering to make their voices heard,” Vivier told W about her decision to march. “It’s never been more critical for us to come together to support the disenfranchised and those causes that feel most threatened.”
Maria Cornejo, who will keep her demonstrations local by marching in New York, will be donating a portion of the brand’s proceeds to three different organizations-Planned Parenthood, ACLU and Human Rights Watch. Other brands planning to be involved in the action–whether in person or via donations–include Apiece Apart, Ulla Johnson, Mara Hoffman, Orley, and Trademark, among others.
And while the march’s official t-shirt, designed by Bob Bland, will surely be a popular uniform for Saturday’s activities, it’s not for a lack of options. Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen’s contemporary brand Elizabeth and James has released a cotton tee with the words “Stronger Together” emblazoned across the front, with twenty percent of proceeds from the sales will be donated to the non-profit organization Baby2Baby. And CherryBombe Magazine has also gotten in on the merch game, releasing what they’re calling a “Protest T-shirt,” which reads “Don’t touch my pussy or the White House garden.” Five dollars from each sale are going to support the March itself. For something a bit more weather appropriate for the expected chilly temperatures, Lingua Franca's Rachelle Hruska MacPherson will be donating half of all proceeds from the sales of the label's hand-stitched "I Miss Barack" cashmere sweater to the charity of the shopper's choosing.
Keep an eye out for those pieces - and plenty other sartorial statements - through the march’s official hashtags, #WhyIMarch and #IMarchFor, where many major designers, including Marc Jacobs, are planning to pledge their social media support. No word on whether @NevilleJacobs will also be posting.
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