Influence of Feminism on Fashion and Fashion Brands
Shubham Anil Jain
Cent Edge Solutions LLP, Bangalore, India
Femininity and fashion have always gone hand in hand. Since women began to enter the workforce, the fashion industry has become more tied to them. The demise of the hoop skirt, the introduction of Chanel pants, Saint Laurent’s Tuxedo, Quant’s miniskirt and, more recently, a T-shirt for Dior with the activist Chimamanda Adichie’s slogan, “We Should All Be Feminists,” have all been examples of how fashion has aided the development of women. This article will analyze the impact of the feminist movement on the creation of branding strategies in the fashion business, keeping in mind the connection between feminism and fashion.
Influence of Feminism on Fashion:
Why shouldn’t men have the same right to be feminists as women since the entire goal of feminism is equality? Feminism is not simply for women; what matters are the concepts and ideals, not the word. It was initially directed towards women since they were perceived as inferior to men and things didn’t start to shift until women began to fight for their rights. Women today have made great strides and are no longer under the power of males, yet equality has not yet been achieved. It’s a common misconception that being a feminist means you’re against males, but feminism affects both men and women. Men and women are not equally treated.
The connection between feminism and the use of fashion as a vehicle for social change has always been nuanced. Social media has a significant impact on our consumerism and has encouraged the use of fashion in social and political activities. Clothing serves as a statement as well as an aesthetic method of expression.
Fashion has been utilized to further the feminist agenda from the early 20th century, when the suffragette movement was at its height, to the present day, typically through shared symbols. Although people can express their political views through their attire, the link between feminism and fashion has been strained due to the expansion of the fast fashion industry.
Early in the 20th century, the suffragette movement chose white as the primary hue to be worn, which helped feminism become associated with fashion. The suffragettes adopted the usage of white as a ‘pure’ colour to counter with their apparent immorality from their opponents’ perspective because wearing all-white apparel and the conventional dresses of the period prevented them from attacking the impractical garment itself. Using a hue instead of an outfit meant that anyone could join the movement, making the cause more accessible.
Fashion has supported women’s rights campaigns, and as a result, fashion items have taken on symbolic meaning. Democratic women in the House of Representatives have frequently chosen to wear all-white outfits as a tribute to the suffragette cause.
First, the political social media initiatives #wearwhitetovote and #pantsuitnation, where women celebrated the selection of Hillary Clinton as the first woman as a major party’s presidential nominee, brought white clothing back into the spotlight in this context. As she accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for president in 2016, Clinton wore a white pantsuit.
Instead than addressing how their own businesses have a disproportionately harmful impact on women of colour, many fashion corporations utilize political and feminism movements for commercial purposes. Due to the absence of accessible alternatives, you can support feminism and still purchase these items, but you should be aware that the businesses that make them don’t seem to share your beliefs. While also being exploited as a tool to undermine this very message, fashion may support feminist movements and assist signify the need for social change.
Various Feminist Fashion Clothing Brands:
The website Birdsong was created by Sophie Slater, Sarah Beckett, and Ruba Huleihel to showcase hand-made apparel produced by women all around the world. Up to 80% of the money you spend on an item is given back to the women who made it. Slater uses no retouching, only two collections per year, different models for her website, and avoids participating in the fast-fashion market. The several creative and motivating women who created the jewellery, knitwear, accessories, dresses, bombers, and other items may be seen on their “Stories” page.
MadeMe, a clothing line inspired by the 1990s and female grunge icons like Patti Smith and Kim Gordon, was founded by Erin Magee eight years ago. Magee discovered that Supreme has a sizable female following despite the fact that the company mostly serves men while serving as Director of Production there. Her brand, which primarily combines street clothing and punk fashions and is inspired by outstanding women of style, was founded for this reason.
An unassuming Etsy store, Femininitees sells white shirts with hand-embroidered messages like “Pizza over patriarchy” and “You owe me 21 cents.” You receive a charming and humorous tee while fighting for your fellow woman, with 5% of the revenues going to National Organization for Women.
4. The Reformation:
Yael Aflalo, a former model, founded this company, whose management team is more than 75% female, and which is in charge of producing ‘killer clothes that don’t kill the environment’; you can check the carbon footprint and water footprints of any item on their website, and all of their products are made from recycled or sustainable materials. Even the packaging used to ship the clothing is made entirely of recyclable materials. The minimalist and effortless shapes and styles are motivated by what women actually desire to wear and feel comfortable in.
5. Female Collective:
Candace Reels founded Female Collective as an Instagram account as a “feminist movement” she used to lift other women up “instead of bringing each other down” — today, her website sells clothing with feminist-themed designs and hosts fundraising efforts for women around the world. You, Candace, do u(terus)!
The daughters of J. Christopher Burch, who founded C. Wonder, Louisa and Pookie Burch, launched their own brand for the fashionable yet sporty woman who vehemently rejects wearing heels and demands the ability to easily slip on shoes. Trademark is designed for comfort and utility; items include wide-legged pants, classic fit jackets, and high-necked sweaters. Trademark is inspired by the busy lady who effortlessly navigates through her iCal activities. Their “inspired by moms” Autumn/Winter 2015 collection included items that one may see hanging in mothers’ wardrobes.
To be a feminist implies recognizing that all individuals have the right to freedom and equality, and that one’s gender should not determine their identity. The feminist movement has unfolded in three distinct phases, all of which have contributed to women’s empowerment and resulted in fewer limitations on women’s attire. Many individuals commonly think that identifying as a feminist implies having a negative stance towards men, but this is not true. Both men and women do not enjoy the advantage of equality.
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Founder & Editor of Textile Learner. He is a Textile Consultant, Blogger & Entrepreneur. He is working as a textile consultant in several local and international companies. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.