Last New York Fashion Week, pink Planned Parenthood pins (distributed by the CFDA) were the politically-minded accessory du jour. Meant to show the industry's solidarity with the organization and highlight its mission, the pins, accompanied by the hashtag #IStandWithPP, sent a message to politicians trying to defund and shut down Planned Parenthood that their plan would not be tolerated.
Come Fashion Month (remember, September is only weeks away), we can almost guarantee that politics will, yet again, have its place on-and-off-the-runways. We expect to see designers tackle the issues they care about most, show attendees use their street style moments to make a statement (see Shiona Turini's Pyer Moss T-shirt emblazoned with the names of Black men killed by police brutality), and editors turn their public platforms into a call for political action. And we have a feeling this bag, courtesy of Raf Simons’ fall 2017 collection, will be at the center of many street style photographs, furthering the conversation about the relationship between our political leanings, and how they're reflected through what we wear.
When Simons showed his eponymous menswear line at New York Fashion Week: Men's, it was a love letter to New York City; the collection, like his debut offering for Calvin Klein in February, included motifs that honored his immigrant experience. Among the "I Heart NY" knits, though, were pieces that spoke to another aspect of life in America: the fear and anger that's come with living under a Trump administration. This 100% cotton black tote bag, which features an abstract American flag, simply asks: ‘Any Way Out of This Nightmare?'
“I can only see this city as a city that has incredible history, incredible inspiration, and incredible people," he told Vogue. "Ask me do I think that you should stand up against what is happening in this country, then I say yes. Even in writing, I do not think people should be fearful — we should be more fearless — and not behave like everybody is expecting you to behave.”
Although protest wear does not replace the importance of calling a congressman or donating money to an important cause, we’re going to go ahead and say this tote is one of the more powerful protest pieces we've seen, and we hope to see it slung over the shoulders of many a Fashion Week attendees. Because in 2017, there's no shame in wearing your protest loud and clear.