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Fashion Designers, Models Protest Trump with ‘I Am An Immigrant’ Video

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Dozens of fashion designers, models and other celebrities came together at New York Fashion Week to protest President Donald Trump’s executive action on immigration by participating in a video project for W magazine.

In the video, some of the biggest names in fashion — including designer Diane von Furstenberg, models Adriana Lima, Winnie Harlow and Doutzen Kroes, photographer Mario Sorrenti and W Editor-in-Chief Stefano Tonchi — stand in front of a camera and declare, “I am an immigrant.”

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In all, 81 names from the fashion world participated in the project, which was shot at Milk Studios in Chelsea during New York Fashion Week this week.

W Magazine’s Katherine Cusamano explained the significance of the project in an editorial accompanying the video’s release on Friday.

“Just as the United States—socially, politically, economically—would not exist without immigrants, so, too, is the backbone of the fashion industry informed by the dialogue between cultures and the tireless work of individuals migrating from other countries,” Cusamano wrote.

In an interview with the Associated Press, W editor-in-chief Tonchi said that the video was intended as a “united and defiant” statement against the president’s recent executive order that temporarily prohibited immigration from seven Middle Eastern countries. The order has since been blocked by judges from the 9th Circuit Court.

“Fashion has not been taking enough responsibility, and they can do much more,” Tonchi told the AP. “Fashion is always a mirror of society.”

Several of the participants in the video ad-libbed their own lines. At the end of the video, von Furstenberg — who hosted a fundraiser for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign — says, “I am Diane von Furstenberg, and I am an immigrant. America was very good to me.”

Designers and models have infused this winter’s New York Fashion Week with plenty of political statements as President Trump completes his first month in office.

For her show this week, Indonesian designer Anniesa Hasibuan casted exclusively immigrant models, with each wearing a light-gray hijab as they walked down the runway. Meanwhile, Mexican immigrant designer Raul Solis sent models down the runway wearing underwear bearing the slogans, “F*ck your wall” and “We are all human beings.”

Watch W magazine’s full video above.

 

Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum


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