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Hollywood’s #MeToo’s ripple effect for the fashion industry

By Angela Gonzalez-Rodriguez


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Many women in Hollywood are joining Tarana Burke, founder of activist movement #MeToo, joining forces at the 75th Golden Globe Awards to protest gender inequality. Guests to the awards were asked to make a stand against gender discrimination by dressing entirely in black.

“We now live in a culture with increased demand for products which identify with wearers’ beliefs and interests. Celebrity influencers have a great power to use fashion to express opinions and raise consciousness of social and political issues that are impacting people’s everyday lives. This, combined with retail's ability to be flexible on assortment and get trends to market fast, means fashion is acting as a greater mirror for social mood than ever before,“ explains Katie Smith, Retail Analysis & Insights Director at Edited.

#MeToo and Time’s Up campaign sets black and slogan apparel soar

As a matter of fact and according to data collated by Edited, demand for black dresses has soared in the last couple of weeks. The State of the Union Address on 30th of January is expected by many in the industry to replicate the ‘wear black’ protest.

As a result, sellouts of black dresses have increased by 225 percent from 1-18 January 2018 vs the same period last year, whilst retailers have introduced 34.8 percent more products online in December 2017 vs December 2016.

This trend hasn’t stopped with influencers, activists and other relevant advocates of gender equality; twenty of the biggest U.S. retailers have increased their women’s black apparel offering by 56.6 percent year to date.

“And whilst historically black used to be associated with the premium and luxury markets, since the beginning of the year fast fashion retailers have significantly upped this colour in their offering: Boohoo by 34.8 percent, Forever 21 by 56.4 percent and Zara by 50 percent,” highlight Edited experts.

Feminism and social activism has reached fashion shores a year ago, when slogans across t-shirts and other garments made a big entry into the industry, flooding collections with messages such as "girl power", "girl gang" or “feminist” grew by 310 percent in the last quarter of 2016.

Following the “Time’s Up” campaign and the recent Women’s March, apparel symbolising female empowerment was up another 234 percent between January 1-22 vs the same period last year.

Photo: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images North America / AFP

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