A protester interrupted the finale of Dior’s Spring/Summer 2021 show during Paris Fashion Week on Tuesday.
According to multiple outlets, a woman infiltrated the catwalk holding a yellow banner with the phrase "WE ARE ALL FASHION VICTIMS" written in big bold letters. The extinction symbol used by environmental protesters also appeared on the bottom corners of the flag.
A spokeswoman for Extinction Rebellion — a climate group that previously called for a fashion boycott due to the industry's impact on the environment — confirmed it was responsible for the runway protest, WWD reports.
Guests were confused by the situation, as the woman did not speak or disrupt the flow of the show.
“It was a surprise for everybody,” Pietro Beccari, chairman and CEO of Christian Dior Couture, said according to WWD. ″It was so well done, you couldn’t tell what it was.″
Sidney Toledano, chairman and CEO of LVMH Fashion Group, didn't initially realize what was happening either: ″I had no idea what was going on. I saw the girl go past, and it looked like she was walking in the show," Toledano said, according to WWD.
“I don’t think we’re destroying the planet,” he continued. “We’re committed to reducing our environmental impact by cutting our carbon dioxide emissions, tracing our raw materials and so forth. They shouldn’t be targeting us. I think there are industries that pollute much more.”
Speaking about the effectiveness of the protest, Toledano said, “It wasn’t nasty or aggressive, but I think her message wasn’t clear. You couldn’t tell if it was part of the show or not."
Dior has sent strong statements down the runway before, including in February at its #MeToo-inspired Fall 2020 ready-to-wear show which featured colored signs with powerful phrases all evoking a strong feminist tone.
Artwork that read, “Patriarchy = Climate Emergency,” “We Are All Clitoridian Women,” “Women Are the Moon That Moves the Tides,” “Women Raise the Uprising” and “Women’s Love Is Unpaid Labour,” all lit up the runway, while the brand’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri also included three bold signs that all read, “Consent,” located right down the center of the catwalk.
Earlier this year during the winter 2020 Paris Fashion Week shows, Stella McCartney staged a protest on her own runway by dressing models in quirky animal costumes to make a statement about fur usage in fashion.
Prior to the show, McCartney had been posting cartoon videos on her Instagram with different animal characters, all of which criticized the use of animal fur or skin for fashion goods.
As mentioned in one of the videos, the Stella McCartney brand has openly stated that it has not incorporated leathers, feathers, or furs in its designs since 2001.
“[And] a fur coat has a much higher impact on the environment than a fake-fur one for many, many reasons,” said McCartney in a 2019 interview with Vogue. “One is animal cruelty, which no one seems to care about or want to talk about, but in my mind, that’s an important part of the conversation.”
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