Do Politics Have a Place in Fashion Shows?

If NYFW is any indication, the answer is yes.

By: Samantha Sutton

Post-New York Fashion Week, trends that took over the runway become pretty clear: perhaps a certain color kept popping up, or details like ruffles were a big hit. For this round of shows, however, things were…a bit different. Sure, there were styles that stole the spotlight, but they came in the form of political tees and inspiring messages—not “navy” or “higher necklines.”

While we're still a bit skeptical of commodifying activism, we're glad people are talking about issues that they're passionate about. It should also be noted that many designers have promised to donate proceeds to organizations like Planned Parenthood or ACLU (the American Civil Liberties Union), which is definitely a plus. It just goes to show that politics and fashion *can* go together—and it’s a pretty great match, too. 


Mara Hoffman recruited the co-founders of the Women's March on Washington to open her show with a speech.

Photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@marahoffman

Gabriela Hearst's collection was inspired by Angela Davis and made for senators, not It girls.

Photo: Alec Kugler

Anniesa Hasibuan's show featured immigrants wearing hijabs.

Photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@arhcamt

White bandanas were spotted everywhere as part of Business of Fashion's #TiedTogether initiative.

Photo: Courtesy of BoF

The fashion crowd, from designers to show goers, showed support for Planned Parenthood with this pin.

Photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@robingivhan

A Tome model even wore one on the runway.

Photo: Getty

Prabal Gurung's statement-making tees included sayings such as "Awake" and "The Future Is Female."

Photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@sarahrutson

Christian Siriano's "People Are People" shirt earned applause from the crowd. It can be bought via the designer's website and proceeds go to ACLU.

Photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@diheartyou

Jonathan Simkhai gave out these "Feminist AF" tees to the crowd. They're also being sold on his website, with proceeds going to Planned Parenthood.

Photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@tinaleung

Public School's political statement came in the form of this "We Are Leaders" jacket and a red "Make America New York" hat.

Photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@publicschoolnyc

Creatures of Comfort protested with shirts that said "No!" and "We Are All Human Beings." They're meant to benefit the Immigration Law Center.

Photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@casandraramos

At Raul Solis, the underwear read "F*ck Your Wall."

Photo: Courtesy of Twitter/@jerome_vaillant

Francesca Liberatore's jackets reminded us of the First Amendment.

Photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@francescaliberatoreofficial

Alice and Olivia sent out positive vibes at its presentation.

Photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@kristinarodulfo

Cinq à Sept did the same.

Photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@cinqasept

A tiny message of hope was spotted at The Row.

Photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@therow

Namilia's clothes were Trumpocalypse-ready.

Photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@peoplesrevteam

Chromat's show theme? Power women and continuing to staying afloat.

Photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@chromat

Naeem Khan, as well as many other designers, played recordings and music with a message. This golden look was paired with the words "We are more alike than unalike."

Photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@naeemkhannyc

Street style stars also had something to say, and made sure to say it with their outfits.

Photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@songofstyle