From Planned Parenthood Pins to Revamping Trump Hats, New York Fashion Week's Top 7 Political Moments

Prabal Gurung backstage on February 12, 2017 Credit: Kelly Taub/WWD/REX/Shutterstock

Regardless of what fashion’s top designers think will be all the rage come fall, they all agree on one thing: Political statements are this year’s top trend. Everyone from Prabal Gurung and Christian Siriano to front row attendees and models shared messages of inclusion and support on the runway at this year’s New York Fashion Week. Read on to find out how the fashion industry is fighting for a better future for all.

1. The CFDA Partners With Planned Parenthood

The organization launched its Fashion Stands with Planned Parenthood campaign ahead of Fashion Week to raise awareness and support for the critical health care its centers provide to millions of Americans each year. Pink pins with the campaign’s name have been distributed to participating models, designers, agencies, fashion influencers and attendees, who have been wearing them proudly since NYFW kicked off February 9.

Along with the pins, designer Adam Lippes showed his support by posing with handmade signs reading “My Body My Choice,” Women’s Rights Are Human Rights” and “Girl Power.” Fellow designer Jonathan Simkhai put his money where his mouth was, donating $5 per seat at this February 11 show to Planned Parenthood. Front row guests also received “Feminist AF” T-shirts, available for $95, with all proceeds benefitting Planned Parenthood.

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2. Prabal Gurung’s Statement Tees

The Nepal-bred designer sent a diverse group of models, including Bella Hadid and Candice Huffine, down the runway of his February 12 show in black and white T-shirts with slogans like: “The Future Is Female,” “Stay Woke” and “Nevertheless She Persisted,” in response to Elizabeth Warren being banned from the Senate floor during Jeffrey Sessions' attorney general hearing. 

"I wanted to capture what I felt there," Gurung, 37, told The Hollywood Reporter of being inspired by the January 21 Women’s March. "I read about what Gloria Steinem was doing in the '70s and the movement, but I never thought I’d live to see that kind of thing. But when I went there, and I saw all the women there, I thought, 'Oh my God.' They set an example for the rest of us that by peaceful resistance, we can make some changes. It took women to do that. So I wanted to capture that."

3. Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne Mock Donald Trump

The Public School Creative Directors showcased tops and hats with the phrases to “Make America New York” and “We Need Leaders” as models walked to “This Land Is Your Land.” The signature red caps also threw more style shade at POTUS with the number 44 1/2 stitched on the side.

4. The Women’s March on the Runway

Ahead of Mara Hoffman’s February 14 presentation, the demonstration’s co-chairs Bob Bland, Tamika D. Mallory, Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour gave a reading celebrating diversity and encouraging attendees to fight for their rights. “We stand together, honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us,” said Bland. “We dedicate ourselves to all the women around us."

5. Tome Dedicates Their Collection to the Guerrilla Girls

Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin dedicated their latest collection to the anonymous female artist collective that has been fighting for women’s rights since the '80s. Their show notes even included the group’s 1988 publication, The Advantages of Being a Woman Artist, and the design duo took their final bow wearing Planned Parenthood T-shirts.

6. White Bandannas Tie the Fashion Industry Together

Tommy Hilfiger, who has said it “should be an honor” to dress first lady Melania Trump, sent all his models down the runway of his Tommy x Gigi show in white bandanas to show unity, equality and appreciation for all of humanity as part of Business of Fashion’s #tiedtogether hashtag.

Attendees of Calvin Klein’s February 10 show also received white bandannas with a note that read, “Unity, inclusion hope and acceptance. Join us at Calvin Klein wearing the white bandan[n]a #TiedTogether.” A model wrapped in an American flag concluded his presentation by walking down the runway to David Bowie’s “This is Not America.”

7. Christian Siriano Continues to Embrace Diversity

In a show that featured 10 plus-size models (and many of color), the Project Runway season 4 winner, 31, paired a silk skirt with a black T-shirt with “People Are People” printed on front in black letters. 

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