Rebecca Minkoff is skipping out on New York Fashion Week again — but this time, rather than host a fashion show in Los Angeles, like she did last year, she’s debuting her latest collection on social media.
Building upon her feminism-focused runway show last February, Minkoff launched a social campaign called “RM Superwomen” with an Instagram post she shared on Thursday. A section of the brand’s website is dedicated to the campaign, which includes an editorial spread of women sharing personal stories of empowerment while dressed in newly launched feminist merchandise and looks from Minkoff’s spring/summer 2018 collection. Both lines are available for purchase in store and online, as part of “The GRL PWR Shop.”
Minkoff’s decision to once again steer clear of NYFW follows news that Alexander Wang will also be stepping out, taking a cue from the growing list of designers opting to show in other cities or leave the runway altogether. The exodus is a response to the crowding of NYFW shows that has transpired to a jam-packed, disjointed scheduling that makes it challenging for brands to have much of an impact. Designers like Minkoff are finding it more advantageous to show their collections (and spend marketing dollars) elsewhere.
“Guys, I began thinking about doing something that matters most to me, for the brand and actually just plain MATTERS in general,” Minkoff stated on Instagram. “Right now, standing up for equality, empowerment and fundamental human rights is key more than ever before.”
The featured individuals hail from a wide spectrum of areas within the women’s rights movement, from the leaders of the Women’s March to government employees. They include the secretary to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and artists like actress Zosia Mamet. Minkoff is encouraging engagement by asking users to share their own photos and stories, using the hashtag #MYRM for the chance to be featured on the site.
Guys, I began thinking about doing something that matters most to me, for the brand and actually just plain MATTERS in general. Right now standing up for equality, empowerment and fundamental human rights is key more than ever before. We’ve profiled The committee of the Women’s March and strong feminist leaders of the movement as they rally from NYC to Vegas — bringing power to the polls. So excited to share these fearless women with you! 💕 #PowerToThePolls #Togetherwerise #Womensmarch2018 @rmsuperwomen
A behind-the-scenes look at actress Zosia Mamet being shot for the RM Superwomen campaign
As explained on the site, the campaign was strategically launched in honor of the one-year anniversary of the Women’s March, in which women around the nation advocated for women’s rights and protested misogynistic policies supported by President Donald Trump. On both Instagram and the brand’s website, Minkoff also sprinkles the hashtag #PowerToThePolls, a movement to increase both females running for office and voting in elections.
The effort points to the continued momentum and influence of politics and social issues in the fashion industry. The RM Superwomen campaign comes on the heels of ongoing efforts that support women within the fashion community since last year, including Milly’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of Planned Parenthood in September.
Céline Semaan Vernon, CEO of Slow Factory, an online store focused on sustainability and activism, said she has been encouraged by the rising number of fashion brands taking a stand in the past year, serving as a testament to the power of consumers and retailers working together to instigate change.
“When I first started talking about fashion and activism, brands, especially well-established brands, were too shy or afraid to take a stand,” she said. “Since the new administration, we have all witnessed a shift in perception and the need becoming necessary to take a stand.
However, as more retailers take pointed perspectives — particularly amid the #MeToo movement that has galvanized women to speak out against sexual assault and harassment — Semaan Vernon is warning companies to avoid falling into the gimmick trap.
“It is inspiring that we now have finally reached a state where being silent is taking the side of the oppressor. My only concern is to always make sure when taking action that the action taken actually benefits people and is not only done for profit or as a marketing strategy.”
Image courtesy of RM Superwomen