Many have argued that fashion and feminism don’t mix — after all, what could clothing have to do with women’s equality? But designers, who have a massive platform and the ability to reach audiences around the world, have put their power to good use this season, sending messages of empowerment, inclusion, and all-around badassery with their collections. And one creator, Mara Hoffman, took it a step further: She asked a group of feminists and activists to model her fall 2017 collection, and the results are truly inspiring.
Partnering with advocacy group Art Not War, Hoffman tapped 25 change-makers, including artists, writers, social justice advocates, and others, for a photo series highlighting the activists’ work and showing Hoffman’s new collection.
“It’s so important to follow in the footsteps of those doing it right and to educate ourselves, so that we can figure out how to contribute in a way that’s meaningful and impactful,” said Hoffman in an interview with Vogue.
“So much of this project is pushing people to look at whose lives are at risk, whose rights are at risk, and then asking, ‘Who is fighting for them? How can we learn about and support what they’re doing?'”
Among the women included in the project are Ai-jen Poo, founder of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, which has fought for a living wage for domestic laborers around the country, De’Ara Balenger, former director of engagement at Hillary for America, and feminist activist and writer Jamia Wilson.
“It’s very humbling seeing these powerful, inspiring women look at themselves in a mirror and hear what they love about themselves and what a piece of clothing can evoke for them,” Hoffman told Vogue. “That’s a huge reason why I’m a womenswear designer — to celebrate women by creating clothes that embolden and interact with them in different and beautiful ways.”