Designers Pull Out of NYFW Venue After Developer Fundraises for Trump

There are few things that escape the influence and opinions of fashion, but, in one avenue it has been gazumped, politics. Where crusaders have begun championing eco initiatives, responsible fashion and somewhat headline grabbing causes, news that designers at Rag & Bone and Prabal Gurung have gone all in and officially cancelled their #NYFW SS20 shows at Hudson Yards in the wake of developer, Stephen Ross’s ballsy move to fundraiser for President Trump’s reelection.

The two designers have decided to boycott the catwalks of Hudson Yards during New York Fashion Week next month after Ross’s contentious and ill advised , hosted a fundraiser for President Trump’s reelection.

Rag & Bone’s #SS20 collection is currently homeless having cancelled their show at Hudson Yard’s, The Shed which is no doubt giving the powers that be pause for thought before naming the location NYFW’s next home base. Similarly, Prabal Gurung announced that he cancelled plans to show his collection at one of the city’s nextgen, Influencer hotspot at The Vessel sending a clear and challenging message to Stephen Ross’s involvement with Trump on Twitter last week.

“My goal here is to start a dialogue and maybe, hopefully, change some minds,” Gurung said in a string of tweets last Wednesday. “I was previously in conversation with Hudson Yards’ The Vessel as the venue for my brand’s upcoming 10 year show during NYFW. When I heard about this fundraiser, I chose to pull my participation.”

The brands’ distancing themselves from Hudson Yards is the latest of boycotts against Ross and his companies, which include Equinox, SoulCycle, and Blink Fitness, in the wake of the Trump fundraising news first reported by The Washington Post.

Following the outrage, billionaire real estate developer Ross said in a statement that he’ll speak out when he disagrees with the president and considers himself “an outspoken champion of racial equality, inclusion, diversity, public education and environmental sustainability.” However, that hasn’t stopped people—including celebrities—from cancelling their memberships with his affiliated gyms.

Fashion Week is no stranger to protests; if anything, it’s become a stage for designers to get political through clothing, whether it’s with Women’s March pussy hats, parody Trump merchandise, feminist slogans, Planned Parenthood pins, or anti-Kavanaugh tees. With NYFW quickly approaching (the five-day event starts September 6), who else will use their platform to speak out?

Words by Daisy Sells

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