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Take Note Of These Brands That Are Standing Up Against Hate

Staying silent is so last season.

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As protestors took to the streets to counter the white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville, all types of businesses showed their support for anti-racist ideology by resigning from presidential councils, blocking neo-Nazi websites online and banning white nationalists from finding accommodation for rallies. All of the companies involved affirmed that racism, hate and violence must be denounced, and that these behaviors and systems will only grow stronger with silence.   

But, as Robin Givhan, fashion critic for the Washington Post, pointed out, the fashion world has been oddly quiet on this matter. Which is especially surprising given the amount of brands we saw at the beginning of the year take action against the sexism spread and provoked by America's current administration, and individuals en masse embracing their own ability to negatively impact Trump's commercial power through politically conscious consumption.

This is even more troubling considering how the new wave of neo-Nazism has strategically used fashion to normalize its appearance and, therefore, its message. No longer do its supporters don white hoods to hide their faces; instead, they wear white button-downs and khakis or jeans and striped pullovers to promote a "gentlemanly" image — one that is crisp, clean, blasé and non-threatening. Large groups of predominantly white men, supported in their rhetoric at home, have been out on the streets toting signs with anti-semetic, racist slogans, and chanting "White Lives Matter" and "Jews Will Not Replace Us" all while looking like they stepped out of a Gap catalog. 

Neo-Nazis are no longer afraid to show their faces because they feel they have allies in the White House, a perspective that was confirmed for them when Trump cited that "many sides" were responsible for the violence in Charlottesville before specifically denouncing the KKK and white nationals, two days too late. And it's no mistake that their newly-fashioned WASP style not only emulates costumes in Nazi propaganda, but also Trump's day-off (though when is it not an off-day for him?) golfing outfit

The fashion world has a long history of ties to white supremacy and Nazism. During Hitler's reign, some designers were made to work involuntarily with the Nazis while some openly embraced them. Hugo Boss famously designed the uniforms for Nazi Youth, and used forced labor from camps for their factories (the company issued a formal apology the following century, in 2011). Coco Chanel was an informant for the Third Reich. Christian Dior dressed the wives and mistresses of high-ranking Nazi officials. 

Today, neo-Nazis, Proud Boys and the "alt-right" have tried to make items like Fred Perry's black and yellow polos and New Balance sneakers part of their signature style (both brands have issued counter statements on this issue). In the same vein, multiple news outlets described white supremacist Richard Spencer as "dapper" in a Brooks Brothers suit as he spouted his intolerant ideals. 

The fashion world is indebted to many people and groups who are the target of white supremacy and other forms of discrimination. As an institution, it carries a massive cultural influence, particularly with younger generations. But a shocking majority of companies are still sending out the message that "politics is bad for fashion," and thus avoiding participating at all. Support for white supremacy doesn't have to be overt to be real and damaging. Silence goes a long way in helping maintain racism as the status quo; in fact, being apolitical is the main way white nationalism and its ideals thrive. 

Fortunately there are designers and brands who have taken a stand in the wake of Charlottesville, and further back to when Trump first became president (which, sadly, already feels like a lifetime ago). We hope that more designers, stylists, brands, bloggers and influencers will follow their lead to make the world a more harmonious, more stylish place. 

Check out 4 brands and designers that are making a stand against hatred in the U.S. and beyond: 

Sophie Theallet


French designer Sophie Theallet generated waves of fashion resistance when she wrote an open letter explaining why she refuses to dress Melania Trump after having worked as Michelle Obama's personal designer. Sophie cited her brand's commitment to diversity and her own immigrant background as running in opposition to the xenophobic, sexist, racist platform of the Trump campaign. She called on other designers to do the same. 
Image: Sophietheallet.com
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Sophie Theallet Animal Print Slim Fit Trousers - $995
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Sophie Theallet For Lane Bryant Babydoll With Cape and Leopard Lace - $78.50
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Sophie Theallet Pine Cone Print Trousers - $995
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Sophie Theallet For Lane Bryant Notched Collar Sleep Jumpsuit - $98.50
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Lipslut


Lipslut recently launched its "F*ck Trump" campaign with a mid-tone nude pink lipstick that is, as they say, "as bold as you." 50% of all Lipslut proceeds go to a charity chosen (unlike certain elections) by popular vote. Currently, sales from "F*ck Trump" have raised $40,000 for the victims of Charlottesville. Get yours today as this baby is flying off the shelves with a decisive middle-finger pointed to the administration. 
Image: via @lipslut on Instagram 
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F*ck Trump Pink Matte Liquid Lipstick - $20
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Marc Jacobs


Marc Jacobs is another designer who openly refused to dress Melania, and told Women's Wear Daily that he'd "rather put [his] energy into helping out those who will be hurt by [Donald] Trump and his supporters." As a counter-piece to the infamous Make America Great Again hat, Marc released his own limited-edition version earlier this year in black and gold with the slogan, "Make America Marc Again." 
Image: Agentofstyle.com
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Marc Jacobs Make America Marc Again Hat - $65
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Marc Jacobs Floral Embroidered Dress - $675
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Marc Jacobs Unicorn Print T-shirt - $150
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Marc Jacobs Heart Star Pony Bracelet - $44
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Zendaya


As well as an actress and designer, Zendaya is a staunch advocate for racial justice and equality. In the wake of Charlottesville, she took to social media for express her disgust with the president's silence regarding white nationalism. Her curated clothing line, Daya by Zendaya, has celebrated multi-cultural styles, and used models of all races and body shapes to promote diversity. 
Image: Popcrush.com
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Daya by Zendaya Satin Slip Dress - $23
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Daya By Zendaya Military Dress - $23
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Daya By Zendaya Copper Velvet Bomber - $26
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Daya By ZenDaya Flared Leg Frayed Jean - $29
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Cover image: via @lipslut on Instagram 
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