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Kering enlists male ambassadors to combat violence against women

November 20, 2017

Gucci's Alessandro Michele for Kering's White Ribbon campaign. Image courtesy of the Kering Foundation


Conglomerate Kering’s annual White Ribbon effort tackling violence against women is turning its attention to Generations Y and Z with an influencer-led initiative.

With one in three females the victim of violence, the group’s #ICouldHaveBeen movement is asking both men and women to imagine themselves as “her,” joining in solidarity with survivors. Now in its sixth year, Kering’s White Ribbon aims to bring further attention to the larger movement of the same name aimed at reducing violence against women by promoting gender equality and rethinking masculinity.

Breaking the silence
Centered on a digital hub, #ICouldHaveBeen asks visitors to enter a name that is not their own. Men are prompted to share the name they would have been given by their parents had they been born a girl, while women are asked to enter “her,” creating a sisterhood with victims and other women.

After inputting their name and adding a photo, consumers are encouraged to share on social media, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and WeChat.

Launching the campaign are Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, designers Stella McCartney, Christopher Kane and Joseph Altuzarra and actors Salma Hayek Pinault and Dennis Chan. These influencers are pictured with statistics that speak to the violence against females, whether physical violence from a significant other or forced marriage.

Kering-owned brands including Ulysse Nardin and Girard Perregaux are also supporting the effort on social media.

This year’s awareness campaign is making a particular push among millennial and Gen Z consumers.

In a series of short films, young males will explore who they would have been had they been born a different gender. While close to nine in 10 members of Gen Z say that girls and boys should have the same rights, violence against females still persists among teens.

“Being born a girl should not equate to a higher risk of violence," said François-Henri Pinault, chairman & CEO of Kering, and chairman of the Kering Foundation, in a statement. "Yet, unfortunately, it is the case in our world today.

"We all could have been born a girl, we all must take on this combat," he said. "A combat I am proud to confront together with the Kering Foundation, our houses and their designers via our sixth annual White Ribbon For Women campaign.”

Kering's White Ribbon is running from Nov. 20 to Nov. 25, which is designated the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

With women making up a significant population of Kering's workforce and consumer base, the company frequently launches efforts aimed at promoting gender equality.

For instance, the French luxury conglomerate commemorated International Women’s Day on March 8, 2016 through its “We Are Women” campaign and by lending support to the United Nations. The campaign support was part of Kering’s three-year partnership with the UN Women French National Committee, in which the conglomerate provides financial support and actively participates in the organization of its global efforts (see story).