Hoffman invited Bob Bland, Tamika D. Mallory, Carmen Perez, and Linda Sarsour (co-chairs of the Women's March) to open her fall '17 fashion show. Dressed in black, the four women read the work of authors and activists like Angela Davis, Audre Lorde, and Maya Angelou, as well as the Women's March's mission statement. Then, as the show began, dancers came out, decked in Hoffman's new collection, with Angelou's "Phenomenal Woman" as the soundtrack.
Wow...absolutely blown away by the @marahoffman's SS17 collection. Besides an amazing collection, as woman and a woman of color, it was absolutely incredible to see a designer set a statement in a no misunderstanding, in your face way. Mara you are beautiful inside and out, as a designer thank you for setting the precedence in what really matters during New York Fashion week, in such a bold undeniable way!!! ▫️▫️▫️ Stay tuned for more as @tk_wonder and I share more of the collection and performances. ▫️▫️▫️ #NYFW #MaraHoffman #SS17 ▫️▫️▫️
Hoffman's fall '17 collection is "inspired by the women whose songs are not yet sung, the allies, the named and the nameless," as well as to the women "who are constantly creating in the name of change," per the show notes. The designer noted how she came back to New York after the Women's March wondering how she could harness all the energy she'd seen in the nation's capital and keep the momentum going in an interview with the Washington Post: "This is what I’m doing with my spotlight," she told the publication. "This is what I’m doing when people are paying attention to me."
To Hoffman, this wasn't just a fashion show; it was "an opportunity to amplify a greater message of unity, inclusion, diversity, and feminism in a fashion space," the designer said in a statement. "This is the chance to show that there can be a cross section of fashion, politics and activism in the name of social justice and women’s empowerment. These are necessary things for all people."
You can read the full script read to showgoers, provided to Refinery29 by the Women's March, below.
Carmen Perez: "We come together in the spirit of democracy, unity, love, and strength with the message that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together in solidarity recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country. Hear our voice."
Bob Bland: "'I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.' We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us. Hear our voice."
Tamika Mallory: "It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all. Hear our voice."
Linda Sarsour: "'Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.' We affirm our shared humanity and pronounce our bold message of resistance and self-determination. We must create a society in which ALL women are free. Hear our voice."
Bland: "We stand together, honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us. We dedicate ourselves to all the women around us."
Perez: "To protect each other, we don’t always have to agree. But we have to organize and stand together. Unity of action does not mean that we have to be unanimous in thought, but injury to one is injury to all."
Mallory: "None of us are free until everyone is free. When we fight for justice, we fight for it for all people and for all of our communities. We STAND for women of color, for women with disabilities, for indigenous women. We STAND for the women being held in airports, for the women behind bars."
Sarsour: "We STAND for the undocumented, the under represented and the LGBTQIA community. We STAND for the Muslim women, for the women who show up and the ones who cannot."
All: "Women’s rights are human rights."