August 18, 2015
Condé Nast’s British Vogue is working to end gender inequality in the fashion industry with its latest video collaboration with actress Emma Watson.
British Vogue partnered with Ms. Watson and her UN campaign HeForShe to educate consumers on the need for equality in the fashion industry. By working with nonprofits and celebrities, British Vogue will be able to promote the cause and perhaps enact significant change in the future.
Fashion and feminism
Ms. Watson has championed women’s rights since she was appointed a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador in 2014 and launched the HeForShe campaign, a global solidarity movement that aims to engage men in the fight for gender equality. HeForShe argues that gender inequality is detrimental to both men and women, and both genders can come together in the fight to end it.
Emma Watson's HeForShe campaign works to end gender inequality
In British Vogue’s video “Emma Watson: Fashion on Gender Equality,” Ms. Watson leads a discussion about the prevalence of inequality in the industry. She speaks with fashion designers Stella McCartney, Jonathan Saunders, Erdem Moralioglu and Bella Freud.
The conversation begins with Ms. Watson posing the question “Are you a feminist?” to each of the designers. “I am 100 percent a feminist,” Mr. Saunders answers, while Ms. Freud argues that she is a humanist.
Stella McCartney speaks about gender inequality in fashion
Speaking on the biggest challenges that face women in fashion, Ms. McCartney explains that inequality is a serious issue in the industry. She argues that is essential to provide both maternity and paternity leave.
Ms. McCartney also speaks about the power that fashion has to help enact change around the world. Fashion has a big voice that can reach many people and work to empower women.
Ms. Watson agrees that she would like to see a more diverse representation of women in fashion. Though the industry has made many improvements in recent years, there is still work to be done.
Designer Bella Freud identifies as a humanist
Many brands are increasingly devoting time and energy to help end gender inequality around the world. For example, Sunday, March 8 was International Women’s Day this year, and luxury brands around the world celebrated with a variety of different promotions and events.
The holiday gives brands the opportunity to express their appreciation for women as well as to market to consumers who may be purchasing gifts for the women in their lives. By advocating women’s rights, brands can present themselves as socially conscious while at the same time capitalizing on an occasion that could lead to increased purchases (see story).
British Vogue did not partner with any brands for this video, but instead chose to use Ms. Watson’s celebrity status to engage consumers. The video will likely inspire viewers to join the movement and work to end gender inequality in their own lives.