Those who don’t follow fashionÂ will argue thatÂ it’s mindless. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth and New York Fashion Week this year has proved that by making boldÂ statements that will affect everyone all over the world, not just the fashionistas. It was a list of firsts this year and we are glad that fashion is addressing these issues.
1. Political statementsÂ
Who said fashionistas aren’t involved in politics? Fashion played it’s part in joining the global debate over Donald Trump and his antics when R13 presentedÂ their show with a silk dress with the words ‘F*** Trump’ printed on it. In fact, the entire collection had a number of pieces that had the same words printed on them. When the designer of the label, Chris Leba, was asked why the brand made such a controversial statement, Leba responded:Â “We felt strongly that we didnâ€™t want Trump to be our president and thought it was important to voice that.” We’d say that message got through loud and clear.” Unsurprisingly, the brand hasn’t received any negative feedback yet.
2. Promoting positive body imageÂ
This is the first time plus size models have hit the NYFW runway and leading this bevy of beauties was Ashley Graham, a well known plus sized model. Graham walked the runway for Canadian retailer Addition Elle, showcasing her new line of slinky bed wear and bras.Â Taking to Instagram following the show, she shared: “I’m so proud of how far my lingerie line with @AdditionElle has gone! Second year showing at #NYFW is a dream come true! For any girl or woman who has ever felt that they weren’t represented in fashion/TV/media because of your size- you are now and forever will be! #beautybeyondsize.”
3. Speaking against IslamophobiaÂ
In a world where Islamophobia is on the rise, where countries are enforcing burkini bans, it’s refreshing to see NYFW present it’s first hijab collection on the runway. Jakarta based designer Anniesa Hasibuan is the first Indonesian to appear at NYFW and also the first designer to showcase a collection of hijabs, where she chose to accompany each and every one of her looks with a stylishly designed headscarf. The one year old brand received a standing ovation from the audience. “I want to bring the Indonesian name to the fashion world, and use my clothes to introduce people to the different and diverse parts of Indonesia,” Hasibuan told The Jakarta Post.
4. Sustainable fashion
NYFW is host to several fashion brands this year who believe in sustainable fashion. These brands include Edun, founded by Bono, the famous U2 singer, and his wife, Ali Hewson. The brand manufactures 85 percent of its collection in Africa, supporting economic sustainability by way of its manufacturers, infrastructure and community building initiatives. Another collection, Organic by John Patrick, chose recycled synethic materials such as nylon and neophrene to constructÂ their light and uncomplicated collection. Kate Spade & Company also appeared on the runway, a brand that has very strict guidelines when it comes to work ethic. They have a commitment that no â€˜conflict mineralsâ€™ have been mined in conditions of armed conflict or human rights abuses; neither has any forced or child labor been used.
5.Â Redefining beautyÂ
Last but not the least, one of the most powerful statements made at NYFW was by Reshma Bano Qureshi, a 19 year old acid burn victim who walked the runway for FTL Moda’s runway showÂ in a long-sleeved white gown. Not only has NYFW given a platform to acid burn victims but it’s redefining our standards of beauty.Â Qureshi survived a vicious acid attack in northern India by her brother-in-law and his friends two years ago that took her left eye and disfigured her face. But that hasnâ€™t stopped the brave young woman from crusading for acid attack survivors with the Make Love Not Scars campaign and The Logical Indian to protest over-the-counter sales of harmful acids.