At New York Fashion Week, designers all seemed to be on the same page as far as their political statements were concerned. While some voiced their protest by way of pins and thoughtful soundtracks, even more sent punchily worded graphic tees down the runway, like Christian Siriano's printed with "People Are People," Creatures of Comfort's "We Are All Human Beings" and Jonathan Simkhai's "Feminist AF;" Prabal Gurung's finale featured a host of T-shirts bearing slogans like "Revolution Has No Borders," "I Am an Immigrant" and "The Future Is Female." Dior, meanwhile, was a whole season ahead of the curve: Maria Grazia Chiuri's debut Spring 2017 collection included a much-buzzed-about white tee that read "We Should All Be Feminists," referencing a 2014 essay by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
In the case of many — if not all — of those T-shirts we saw at NYFW, the entirety or a significant amount of their proceeds will go to charities ranging from the ACLU to Planned Parenthood (for Siriano and Simkhai, respectively). Now, Dior is joining in: The French house announced on Tuesday that a portion of the sales from its "We Should All Be Feminists" tee will be donated to Rihanna's nonprofit, The Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF). (The group, which she founded in 2012, supports and funds education, health and emergency response programs in impoverished areas around the world.) Education is CLF's bread and butter: The foundation awards need-based scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 for students attending college in the U.S.
Dior's "We Should All Be Feminists" shirts, retailing for a reported $700, drew early criticism for cashing in on a broader feminist craze and with no charitable backbone. Earlier this month, teen activist Rowan Blanchard chimed in on the subject on Twitter, writing: "...hope that $ goes to @PPact or @audrelorde." It does look like Dior is finally putting its money where its mouth is, and to be sure, the work CLF does is paramount: When children have better, more direct access to education, everyone wins.