Activism Hits The Runway At New York Fashion Week

Activism Hits The Runway At New York Fashion Week
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Does life imitate art or does art imitate life? For fashion designers, both of these ideals ring true. Some of the top creative geniuses set the hottest style trends every season. At the same time, the pieces they create are inspired by their environments and experiences. It is virtually impossible to separate the two.

During New York Fashion Week, designers dared to incorporate everything from social justice and women's health, to education and racism into their runway fashions. Essence Magazine was on-hand to take it all in. Here are seven of the #wokest Fashion Week moments ripped right from today's headlines:

AnaOno Intimates

AnaOno Intimates partnered with New York-based nonprofit #Cancerland to put on a fashion show featuring women of all backgrounds who are fighting and living with several stages of breast cancer. It was a bold, fierce and courageous display of women who are fighting the good fight against cancer and determined to win.

The Opening Of The Mara Hoffman Show

It was with a powerful display of solidarity that Mara Hoffman opened her fall 2017 fashion show. The designer commissioned four women from diverse racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds to talk about what it really means to stand together.

Naeem Khan

Naeem Khan's finale look featured a stunning Black model in a regal gold gown with a goddess headpiece. As she floated elegantly down the runway, a recording of Dr. Maya Angelou's poem entitled "Human Family" was played. In it, she highlights the ties that bind all human beings together. It ends with the line, "We are more alike my friends, than we are unalike."

Public School

Public School stayed true to their brand message as being outspoken. The designers debuted hats that read, "Make America New York Again." One-half of the designing duo, Dao-Yi Chow, explained the intent behind the #MAGA-inspired motto to The Business of Fashion: "We wish the rest of the States were like New York from an inclusivity standpoint, from a diversity standpoint, from an action standpoint." The brand also printed its slogan "We Need Leaders" on the back of the hoodies.

Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung's fall 2017 show was all about celebrating feminism. Models rocked the runway wearing shirts with captions like "the future is female," "stronger than fear," and "our minds, our bodies, our power." Taking things a step further, the models cast for this show had a diverse representation.

Phillip Plein

Phillp Plein's commissioned Nas to perform "If I Ruled the World." A hip hop classic, the rapper paints a picture of what life would be like in America sans racism, bigotry and discrimination. Nas is New York. Phillip Plein couldn’t have made a better choice.

Anniesa Hasibaun

In response to Donald Trump’s controversial stance on immigration and his recent #MuslimBan, Muslim designer Anniesa Hasibaun hired a full cast of immigrant models to walk in her show. The designer opened up to ELLE.com about her stance saying, "Difference is not something to be afraid of—it's something you should embrace," she said. "We have this vision and mission of bringing peace, and fashion is one of the means we can use to spread these beautiful values to the world."

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