Dior seems to be missing the point of feminism.
Ever since Maria Grazia Chiuri took charge of the brand, Dior has been desperately trying to merchandise the feminist “fad.” First came the “We Should All Be Feminist” tees inspired by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, which retails for $710. Super affordable right? I’m sure all the feminists could totally buy one.
And now they’ve channeled the feminist protests of the 1960s for their Paris Fashion Week runway show. The entire venue was covered head-to-toe in protest signs, quotes, and more. The models (mostly white) rocked typical 60s looks, with one sweater reading “C’est non non non et NON!” (“It’s no no no and NO!” in English).
Many are hailing the brand for going all-in on feminism but frankly, I’m disgusted.
The brand has made it abundantly clear that they truly don’t care about feminist values. Anyone who has taken a Women’s Studies 101 class knows that intersectional feminism is all about understanding how gender, race, sexuality, and socioeconomic status come together to form each person’s place in the world. By creating expensive t-shirts targeted at the 1%, they are ignoring a majority of women, which is pretty much the opposite of feminist.
Not only that, but they have made little to no effort to advance the feminist cause outside the runway. The #MeToo movement was extremely strong in France and yet where was Dior? They were quick to use Hillary Clinton‘s famous quote “Women’s rights are human rights” but where were they during Hillary’s campaign? And it was only after they received severe criticism did they decide to donate a portion of the sales from the “We Should All Be Feminist” tee to Rihanna’s charity The Clara Lionel Foundation (the exact percentage is still unknown)
They are not feminists but frauds.
They are standing on the backs of women who have made lifelong sacrifices to gain rights for WOC, trans women, underprivileged women, and more. But does Dior care? Not one bit.
Dior should be condemned, not admonished. The fashion giant is merely seeing feminism as a fun trend they can use for their clothing. It lets them be part of the conversation without saying a word.
I’m not saying that all feminist fashion is this way. In fact, there are numerous feminist clothing brands that have done amazing things for the cause through donations, campaigns, and more. If you do it right and if you actually wear clothing with meaningful political statements, then you can truly turn fashion into feminism. Activist and actress Yara Shahidi explained it best when she said,
“I wear a ton of political T-shirts because I get to wear things that state my political opinions. Fashion is associated with an ideology. You could wear a beret, but when you tilt it to the side, you go from Parisian to Black Panther.”