When it comes to voter registration and education, we simply can’t say enough about its importance—in fact, here at The Glow Up, it’s one of the few topics that eclipses our passion for fashion. So understandably, we were thrilled to hear that our two loves are coming together in this crucial election season: on Thursday, Studio 189 label co-founders Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah announced a voter initiative program and campaign called Fashion Our Future 2020.
Via a release provided to The Glow Up:
The campaign will bring together fashion designers and the broader fashion industry to support voter registration and education, ahead of the General Election on November 3...The organization, which is partnering with Voto Latino (a non-profit group originally co-founded by Dawson and Maria Teresa Kumar), hopes to empower one million disenfranchised voters to make their voices heard by registering to vote ahead of this year’s election.
Designed to “leverage the power of fashion to engage underrepresented communities in the political process,” Fashion Our Future 2020 is the brainchild of former Bottega Veneta communications exec Erwiah, who said in a statement:
“I love our country’s motto, ‘E Pluribus Unum’; out of many, one. That’s what I see when I look at the number of eligible voters in this country—I see the possibility of us all getting involved, and I imagine what we could do if we joined forces and worked together.”
Working together with Erwiah and Dawson is Off-White and Louis Vuitton Men’s Creative Director Virgil Abloh, who is assuming the same role for the designer-led initiative, which “will inspire new and first-time registrants to engage in the democratic process by offering access to exclusive merchandise drops, virtual programming and digital content,” reads the release, explaining: “Through voter registration prompts at point of sale, the campaign will inspire customers to seize their democratic right while shopping limited-edition apparel and accessories from the culture-setting labels they love.”
The arrival of New York Fashion Week from September 13-17 provides the perfect opportunity. As the eyes of fashion lovers are turned toward the runway, Fashion Our Future 2020 aims to get their minds equally focused on the ballot box. Participating brands and designers currently include 12.29, 3.1 Phillip Lim, A.L.C., Alejandra Alonso Rojas, Asyha Co, Batsheva, Brandon Maxwell, Fe Noel, Gigi Burris Millinery, Good American, HVN, Jonathan Cohen, Khiry Official, La Ligne, Lem Lem, Mara Hoffman, Post Imperial, Prabal Gurung, Proenza Schouler, Rachel Comey, Sergio Hudson, Studio 189, Sukeina, Tanya Taylor, Third Crown, Victor Glemaud, Virgil Abloh, and Zero + Maria Cornejo.
“Fashion has incredible power to inspire and incite meaningful change, and with buy-in from my fellow designers and the broader fashion community, we know we can turn the tide of American politics and ensure fair and equal representation at the polls,” said Abloh in a statement. Fashion Our Future 2020 participating designer, advisor, and founder of fashion industry advancement organization IN THE BLK, Victor Glemaud agrees.
“As designers, we express ourselves via clothing and now we are using our collective platforms to effect change and bring awareness that the upcoming election will have long-lasting generational repercussions. I feel that our combined unity, creativity and political awareness might help change our current American political landscape.”
“Fashion can do more than sell clothes,” said Ermiah. “It creates cultural moments that inspire movements, so let’s make celebrating our right to vote the biggest movement of 2020. We are standing on the shoulders of all the people who marched, fought, sacrificed and died for us to have this right to vote. I think about the power of all these collective voices and what we can do if we all come together and participate. Together, we can make a difference. We can make history.”