Fashion brands have historically remained neutral when it comes to politics, for fear of losing business from customers who hold opposing political views. However, the current political climate has led to brands being much more open about their political leanings.
The catalyst for many brands to share their political views was the Black Lives Matter protests earlier this year, a political and social movement spurred by the murder of George Floyd. Massive retailers like Old Navy, Gap, and American Eagle are gearing up to debut collections and campaigns with a theme of voting rights.
In an election year, especially one as politically fraught as 2020, brands feel a civic responsibility to stand up for what they believe in. La Ligne, a women’s fashion brand, has always been political (in 2016, the brand released a collection featuring shirts with the slogan “I’m With Her” in French) but has leaned away even more from any facade of neutrality in 2020.
La Ligne has just launched a collection of T-shirts and masks which command people to vote, such as a facemask with the word vote emblazoned on it repeatedly. All of the proceeds from the collection are going to Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight organization. The organization helps people from underrepresented communities register to gote and protects their voting rights. The masks from the collection were so popular that La Ligne sold out of over 1,000 masks in one hour.
Mary Alderete, CMO of GAP, spoke to Glossy and said:
“[The BLM movement] definitely had a big impact on how we approach these things…The killing of George Floyd was a pivotal moment for the whole nation. It was an enough-is-enough moment. We’ve supported progressive movements for LGBT rights and climate activism before, but we’ve always done it kind of quietly. But I think now we’re starting to be more vocal about it. We have to be.”
Charlotte Norman is a content writer passionate about all things marketing. She received an MFA from NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute’s Literary Reportage program and is currently based in New York City.