Sign-wielding models and fashion influencers took to the streets and social media over the weekend to protest President Donald Trump’s latest executive order that prohibits travel to the United States from seven Muslim countries and indefinitely suspends the refugee program.
The American fashion industry has deep global roots, from fashion houses that hail from Europe to models that immigrated from around the world to cut their teeth on American catwalks. When news broke that Trump had signed an order that bans individuals from Muslim nations from traveling to the states, industry veterans spoke out against the policy. Many used Instagram to share images from rallies around the country, using the hashtag #NoBanNoWall, which became ubiquitous after the news broke on Saturday.
Thomas Rankin, CEO of Dash Hudson, said the fashion industry has historically supported progressive policies, so the influx of posts against Trump’s policies follows the trajectory of notable figures using social media as a platform to share their views. “The fashion industry, like Hollywood, is a bastion of liberalism. Models and actors have a stage on which to stand when voicing their opinions on issues. Throughout the campaign, and now into his presidency, models have been protesting Trump’s policies, especially on social media.”
Sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid, who were born to Muslim father Mohamed Hadid, participated in a protest in New York City on Sunday, carrying a sign that read, “We are all Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Atheists, Christians, Jews.” (Singer Zayn Malik, Gigi’s boyfriend, is also Muslim.) Their mother Yolanda Hadid, a former model and television personality, also showed support by posting a photo on Instagram of Gigi at the protest, with the caption, “That’s right, we are one… Open to all religion, all races and all countries.”
Rankin said that while social media has long been a channel for instigating change and raising awareness, it will be important for influencers to consider alternative ways to make their voices heard.
“Unfortunately, channels like Instagram — with a young, educated, affluent demographic — can be an echo chamber,” Rankin said. “Hillary dominated Trump on Instagram, especially among her support from celebrities. And we all know how that turned out. Still, a voice among many can be loud and impact change. The world needs more activism.”
Members of the fashion community also protested Trump’s order to begin building a wall on the border of Mexico. Model Emily Ratajkowski, who was born in London, shared two images protesting the Muslim ban and the wall, one a black-and-white photo of three women holding a sign with a quote by civil rights activist Desmond Tutu. Another shows Ratajkowski herself at a protest, holding a sign that reads, “Revolution has no borders.”
A photo posted by Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata) on
Model Cara Delevingne — who works with the Girl Up Campaign, a United Nations Foundation organization that supports educational and health ventures for young girls around the world — shared an image of three South Sudanese refugees she met on a recent trip to Uganda, noting that as a result of the UN’s help, 4,000 refugees have been able to go to school. She paired the photo with the accompanying hashtag #WithRefugees, and on Monday, she posted an image of a clothing garment from the Donald J. Trump Signature Collection with a tab that says, “Made in Mexico.”
When I met Janet, Pauline, Florence and Ajah, they had just crossed the border into Uganda with their families. They shared their courageous stories of their journeys fleeing South Sudan and their hopes to continue their education. Thanks to Girl Up’s partnership with UNHCR, over 4,000 refugee girls have been able to go to school. Read more about the inspiring girls I met on my learning trip with @girlupcampaign: link in bio. #WithRefugees @womenatforbes
The fashion blogging world also shared images of solidarity with immigrants and refugees, including Bryan Grey-Yamabo (aka BryanBoy), who shared images and video from a rally at New York City’s Battery Park, where he was joined by Public School designer Dao-Yi Chow. Aimee Song, who was raised by immigrant parents, also demonstrated support on Instagram, writing, “Let us not forget who built this country. Taking in refugees isn’t just humanitarian, it is taking in our people.”
A video posted by Bryanboy (@bryanboycom) on