Fashion gets political, as designers call for inclusion and diversity – CNBC

Erin Fetherston created her ethereal collection with a bohemian world traveler in mind. The California-born designer spoke to unity in her show notes, saying, “We are all, foremost, citizens of the world, and we are stronger together.”

“I wouldn’t say that politics influenced the design process, but I just think that I draw from my own personal experience as a designer,” Fetherston said backstage. “I had the privilege of traveling all over the world in my life, living in many countries, and I think this is a right that we should really cherish and reciprocate and celebrate.”

On the West Coast, Rebecca Minkoff delivered a message of female empowerment. During the final walk at her L.A. show, models were serenaded by MILCK and a seven-person harmony performing the song “Quiet.” That song has become the unofficial anthem of the women’s march on Washington, D.C., which was held following President Donald Trump’s election.

The trade group representing U.S. designers also joined the conversation. Amid Republican efforts to pull federal funding for Planned Parenthood, several showgoers sported pink buttons that read “Fashion Stands with Planned Parenthood.” The pins were handed out as a partnership between the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Planned Parenthood, to raise awareness for the organization.

“Civic responsibility is an important CFDA pillar,” the group’s president and CEO Steven Kolb said in a statement.

Yet even as politics remained a focal point, Fashion Week also provided an opportunity to raise people’s spirits, Panichgul said.

“My clothes are sort of inherently feminine and colorful and so hopefully it will create an uplifting mood for people,” he said.

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