by Rebecca Golub
Photography by Ece Yavuz
This year, International Women’s Day was more than a holiday marked on a calendar. Rather, it was a movement that united people across the world through strong female advocacy and a few notable designers.
On March 8, 2017, hundreds of thousands of women around the world took the day to stand up for their rights. They also made the effort to shop at companies that support women’s equality during controversial times. Fashion brands such as Rebecca Minkoff, A.L.C., Marc Jacobs and others took this day as an opportunity to get behind the fight for female equality.
Rebecca Minkoff and FEED’s Lauren Bush Lauren—CEO of a fashionable handbag company that donates meals to the hungry through sales––joined forces to raise awareness for the holiday. By purchasing one of three types of bags from the Rebecca Minkoff x FEED Collection, women can now be trendy and give back at the same time. Prices of the bags range from $145.00 to $295.00, and provide 37 to 74 “free and nutritious school lunches” per handbag sale “in 63 of the poorest countries around the world,” said Minkoff.
“We wanted to create something meaningful that celebrates the power of women,” said Minkoff. The handbag collection does just that; it allows every woman to feel like a boss when they have one in hand.
“Everything from the fabric––which is handwoven by artisans in India––to the vibrant color scheme felt so right for this project,” said Minkoff.
Going into this project, there were no second thoughts.
“The collaboration felt incredibly organic for both of us,” said Minkoff. “When we started thinking about what we should do and when, International Women’s Day was the natural choice as Lauren [is] one of our generation’s finest female entrepreneurs, on something that gives so much to so many.”
Through FEED, Lauren works to nourish hungry children with hopes that it will help them think more efficiently in school. She also donates portions of her profits to provide nutrition to pregnant women who cannot afford to sustain a healthy diet on their own.
“International Women’s Day is an opportunity to raise awareness for the plight of women of all different backgrounds and walks of life,” said female consumer Sarah Finkel (COM ’20). “A holiday like International Women’s Day is especially important because with times rapidly changing, women’s place in society is still uncertain, and it’s the job of organizations and companies like these to initiate discussion and ways to expose many of the common issues surrounding female independence.”
By providing hungry children with the nourishment to learn, the company will help them understand the importance of independence.
The Rebecca Minkoff x FEED Collection already sold out of the “Crossbody” bag and “Clutch,” and for good reason! Finkel said that young women, like herself, “love the details and artisanal vibe.” More collaborative collections like this would do well in the future for other designers too.
“I think it would be a good idea for designers to offer a variety of lines and styles that would be suitable for every kind of woman,” said Finkel. “At the same time, with every purchase, a woman will be inspired to benefit others.”
Nicole Kuhn (CFA’19) loves the collaborative Collection, too.
“It’s good to recognize females throughout the world because in many places, women are still heavily oppressed solely for their gender,” said Kuhn. “Any money they are able to raise to contribute to helping other women further themselves in society is positive.”
Hopefully in the future, other sects of industry will follow such brands and become more involved in International Women’s Day. After all, the day was not just about women, but about people coming together to make their voices heard, to make a difference and to prove that love can be found in even the most uncertain of times.