The American Civil Liberties Union can expect a blast of extra-chic brand exposure this week, as New York Fashion Week kicks off with an onslaught of blue ribbons.
Led by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the ribbons, which simply read “NYFW ACLU,” are part of its second major campaign this year. Back in February, many designers, models and attendees wore pink “Fashion Stands With Planned Parenthood” pins to support that organization.
“Fashion for ACLU was born out of the fashion community's sense of urgency to stand up for American civil liberties that are at risk today,” says Kristine Keller, the CFDA’s associate director of strategic partnerships, in a statement. “Given the engagement and awareness that CFDA’s partnership with Planned Parenthood created, we knew that we had a platform, especially during NYFW, to promote the work that the ACLU is doing.”
The ribbon campaign comes at a time when Fashion Week is going through more upheaval than usual, with some key designers, including Rodarte, Proenza Schouler and Joseph Altuzarra, opting out of New York in favor of Paris. Other designers are already giving up on the “See now, buy now” digital approach they hoped would add relevance to the shows. And it’s increasingly less of a New York event, as designers look to use more dramatic venues. Ralph Lauren, for example (which is sticking to the see-now, buy now format), is reportedly having its show in the Bedford, N.Y., garage of the designer, and a growing number of shows are headed to Brooklyn.
But it continues to be a major event for brands, with sponsors like Maybelline, Lexus and E!, and dozens of other national brands using the shows as a way to woo influencers.
CFDA says the special edition ACLU/NYFW blue ribbons, which made an appearance the Academy Awards, come with an information card that provides details about the organization’s work, ideas for promoting the campaign on social media, and donation specifics.
“Much like Planned Parenthood’s campaign, designers expressed interest in the ACLU, which created an organic launching pad for the initiative,” she says.
No word yet on whether designers will use the runway to make some of the strong political statements that characterized the February shows. Still fired up by the energy of the Women’s March, designers sent models down runways in pink pussy hats, red trucker caps saying “Making America New York Again” and t-shirts with slogans like “I am an immigrant,” “People are people,” and “Girls just want to have fundamental rights.”