While feminism is far from a new phenomenon, interest around it is at an all-time high. And we are here for it. When Dior’s Paris show last fall featured “We Should All Be Feminists” T-shirts as part of its Spring 2017 collection, the (political) statement took on a whole new meaning. And to give the T even more gravitas, Dior announced that it’s donating a portion of the proceeds to Rihanna’s non-profit organization, the Clara Lionel Foundation (which supports and funds effective education and health programs around the world).
Some background about that T-shirt: Dior collaborated with writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who penned an essay of the same name as an adaptation of Adichie’s 2013 TEDx talk. And if you haven’t yet had the chance to hear the TEDx talk, you might recognize this line: “Feminist: A person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes,” as it appears in Beyonce’s “Flawless.”
Natalie Portman was seen rocking the “We Should All Be Feminists” T-shirt at the Women’s March in L.A., while RiRi stepped out at NYC’s March with a pink THIS P**SY GRABS BACK hoodie, designed by Victoria’s Secret model Leomie Anderson and created by LAPP The Brand.
Even Karl Lagerfeld had a huge feminist-inspired moment in September 2014, when he staged a feminist rally starring the likes of Gisele and Cara, megaphones, and posters of the “He for She,” “Ladies First” and “History is Her Story” variety.
But while Chanel’s “women’s protest” back in 2014 felt like a throwback to a bygone era (and almost felt theatrical in its grandeur), the groundbreaking Women’s March this past January was all too real. And all too necessary in an era where we need to make our voices heard as much as possible. Because this year, shit’s getting REAL.
Consider feminist-inspired gear our way of clapping back to 2017; a way of flexing our feminist muscles and using our voices -- so even if you aren’t heard (and shame on the world if you aren’t), you will be seen. After all, fashion has always been a form of self-expression.
"Consider feminist-inspired gear our way of clapping back to 2017; a way of flexing our feminist muscles."
In honor of International Women’s Day, we rounded up some of our favorite feminist-inspired goods: best enjoyed the other 364 days of the year.
Those “The Future is Female” sweatshirts spotted on Cara Delevingne and girlfriend St. Vincent in October 2015 have become an Insta phenomenon (and spawned similar merch like pins and baby onesies). While they might seem like a recent political statement, there is feminist history behind them. According to a New York Times article, the OG “The Future Is Female” T-shirt design was worn by Alix Dobkin in 1975, when photographer Liza Cowan took a picture of Dobkin (her girlfriend at the time) for a slideshow she was working on.
Thirty years later, Rachel Berks, the owner of LA-based shop / graphic design studio Otherwild spotted the photo on the Instagram account, h_e_r_s_t_o_r_y. Berks made 24 T-shirts, which sold out in two days. She made another batch and decided to donate a portion of the proceeds to Planned Parenthood. Soon she introduced the sweatshirt design, and the rest is literally, her-story, as the T has taken on a life of its own.
Studio15 is a socially responsible fashion brand geared towards millennial women and founded by total boss lady, Jia Wertz. The company supports female entrepreneurs in developing countries by donating a percentage of proceeds to fund women-led businesses in Uganda. The brand launched “The Future Is Female Collection” on Presidents' Day to make a statement against the current administration's comments about women, immigrants and refugees.
For International Women's Day, Casetify released an ENTIRE "Nevertheless, She Persisted" Collection. Protect your rights. Protect your phone. All in a day's work. CAN YOU HEAR OUR FEMINIST VOICES NOW??
Check your self-ie. Protect your phone with these “Nasty” cases by Casetify.
We’re having our cake and eating it too. Feminist blogger slash baker Lyndsay of CocoCakeLand.com whipped up these delicious messages on her sweet creations and was featured in the resistance-leading mag, Teen Vogue, as a result.
Wear your feminist flair with enamel pins, buttons and patches from the likes of jewelry brand Bing Bang NYC (50% of “girl power” swag’s proceeds are donated to women’s organizations) and our favorite “Girls’ Only Club,” The Wing. We love the Bang Bang Bad Bitch Circle Patch or the Girl Power Button Starter Pack.
Speaking of NYC-based The Wing, its feminist merch is a call to arms, especially “The Self Supporting Tote.” The tote's text comes from a call to action written by Anna Cardogen Etz in the early 20th Century. The letter, "Self Supporting Women of Hornell" argued for the creation of a women's club and was printed in the local newspaper in Hornell, New York. (A tote that literally carries the weight of women’s issues.) Or wear your feminism on your keychain.
So let’s make sure feminism is more than simply “a mainstream trend,” and actually becomes the norm. Instead of proclaiming to “Wake up like this,” let's stay woke. Happy International Women’s Day, ladies.
Karin Eldor is a writer specializing in career, fashion and lifestyle. After several years in the corporate world as the Social Media Manager and Copywriter at ALDO, she took her side hustle full-time and is now living out her dream as a contributor for COVETEUR, Levo, Shopify, 818 Agency, and of course Create & Cultivate. Her mission is to offer guidance and mentorship to women by aligning with brands that value self-expression, integrity and impact. Follow her on Insta @alwayskarin.
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