Courtesy of Rachel Getman, The Cornell Daily Sun. Shoes that Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) wore while campaigning will be included in a new exhibit on campus.

“Women Empowered: Fashions from the Frontline”
 Dec. 6-March 31
Level T of the Human Ecology Building
Cornell University

Excessive tear and wear mark the brown-leather flat zipper shoes worn by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez during her campaign days. “Women Empowered: Fashions from the Frontline,” an upcoming exhibition at Cornell University, has gotten its hands on those same shoes with a goal in mind: women’s empowerment. The newly elected U.S Representative went on Twitter to share a picture of the shoes she wore out in her district with the following caption:

“Some folks are saying I won for ‘demographic’ reasons. 1st of all, that’s false. We won w/voters of all kinds. 2nd, here’s my 1st pair of campaign shoes. I knocked doors until rainwater came through my soles.

Apparel Design Professor Denise Green, who curated the show with the help of the student in her graduate course “Anthropology of the Fashion Body”, says the shoes are a perfect representation of the theme; this year’s being “Duration: Passage, Persistence, Survival.”

Bottom of Ocasio-Cortez shoes. Courtesy of Cortez Twitter account

According to The Daily Sun (The university’ss newspaper), curators/students conceptualized different spaces where women use fashion as a means of empowerment and discovered five areas– the sports arena, the street, the stage, the academy and the government. The exhibit will feature more women who represent the scope of the exhibit.

Co-founder of the College of Human Ecology, Martha Van Rensselaer, is among some of the other chosen women. A dress that she wore to help rebuild libraries in Belgium after World War I will be featured in the exhibit.

“There is a whole range of interesting pieces and stories, and I think what we have done in this exhibit is to focus on women and the unique ways that each one has used fashion to uplift other women,” Green said.

Where Art, Fashion & Culture Collide

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