Political fashion tees are everywhere this season, but the sartorial movement started back in September with Dior. For her spring 2017 debut as the fashion house’s creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri presented a “We Should All Be Feminists” T-shirt inspired by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s 2014 essay of the same name. Not only did the buzzy shirt take over our Instagram feed, it’s also become the uniform of choice for many fashion-forward celebs, including Natalie Portman, Jennifer Lawrence, and Rihanna. To make the tee even more impactful, the brand announced today that it will donate a portion of the proceeds from sales of the shirt to the Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF), Rihanna’s nonprofit organization.
The multitalented singer-philanthropist started the group in honor of her grandparents back in 2012. Since then, CLF—which supports and funds global education, health, and emergency-response programs around the world—has offered need-based scholarships for college students in the U.S. and held an annual fund-raising gala called the Diamond Ball. Last week, the Harvard Foundation named Rihanna its 2017 Humanitarian of the Year (previous recipients of the award include former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai).
Regardless of its empowering message, the shirt—which retails for $710—initially drew criticism from skeptics who questioned whether or not the brand was capitalizing on the current feminist wave. Earlier this month, actress and teen activist Rowan Blanchard tweeted her concerns regarding the plethora of feminist merch on the runway: “The Dior one ‘we should all be feminists’ that’s popping up everywhere supposedly retails for 700$ hope that $ goes to @PPact or @audrelorde.”
Despite the delay (which could be attributed to the brand’s traditional six-month production schedule), Dior delivered—and it’s not only brand to do so. At New York fashion week this month, both Christian Siriano and Jonathan Simkhai sent down graphic shirts with powerful messages on the runway. Even better: The designers announced they’ll donate 100 percent of the proceeds to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, respectively.
Fashion with a mission is something we can all get behind. Sure, the shirt carries a (very) hefty price tag, but maybe now you can treat yourself knowing that a portion of the splurge will be going to a great cause.
The tops will be available in Dior boutiques worldwide until May 15 this year. A limited-edition black T-shirt will also be sold exclusively on saks.com from March 14 to March 28.
More from fashion week:
- Fashion Week’s Most Showstopping Feminist Moments
- Christian Siriano’s Show Featured Models of Every Size, Shape, and Color
- Meet Halima Aden, the First Muslim Model to Walk in Fashion Week With a Hijab
How one plus-size model learned to love her body: