“High fashion trend”: Has feminism become just a business?

Protesters call for South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to veto a bill that would outlaw most abortions in the state past 19 weeks, on Tuesday, May 24, 2016, in Columbia, SC. The only exceptions would be to save the life of the mother or if the fetus cannot survive outside the womb. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

(AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

According to Slate executive assistant and writer Cleo Levin, feminism is now a “high-fashion trend,” based on her selective observations from New York Fashion Week.

Clothes emblazoned with “We Should All Be Feminists,” “Feminist AF” and “The Future is Female” were all seen during fashion week. Levin called these new politically conscious designs “woke couture.”

She also suggested that soon, more mainstream clothing designers will start carrying clothing with the pro-woman message.

We’re all familiar with the cultural cachet luxury brands wield, not to mention the trickle-down effect of trends” she noted. “Consequently, more brands will surely soon be producing clothes that affirm women’s rights.”

It’s unclear what “rights” women in America don’t have, but it’s clear abortion access is a major concern for women on the left.

Many feminists are worried about abortion access, as they feel Planned Parenthood is “under attack.” Perhaps. Planned Parenthood itself isn’t under attack, rather the flow of taxpayer money supporting is.

Earlier this week, a federal judge blocked Medicaid cuts to Planned Parenthood, the NYT reported.

Cecile Richards, the president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, called the federal ruling a “victory for Texas women.”

Levin argued that the rise of feminist clothing was positive.

“To be sure, it will only be a good thing when Fifth Avenue is filled with fashionistas flaunting their feminism. Who could resist the spectacle of Park Avenue grandes dames wearing ‘Pussy Grabs Back’ shirts?”

After all, what could be more empowering than walking down the street wearing a bright pink pussy hat and a shirt that says “The Future is Female”?

It is unclear how many designers from the New York Fashion week featured explicitly feminist slogans on their clothing. Fashion designer Prabal Gurung seems to be the focus of many of the articles lauding his feminist stance during NYFW.

Gurung told The Hollywood Reporter he was inspired to incorporate feminism into his designs after attending the Women’s March in NYC.

“I read about what Gloria Steinem was doing in the ’70s and the movement, but I never thought I’d live to see that kind of thing,” he said.

“[Women’s march protesters] set an example for the rest of us that by peaceful resistance, we can make some changes. It took women to do that. So I wanted to capture that.”

His shirts featured slogans such as “Our Minds, Our Bodies, Our Powers,” “Girls Just Want to Have Fundamental Rights,” and what Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said about Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA): “Nevertheless She Persisted.”

Gurung’s feminist tee-shirts start at a very affordable and feminist price — only $130. They are on pre-order now.


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