When Raf Simons was designing his Fall/Winter collection he may not have meant for it to be overtly political but at NYFW Men’s on February 2nd his show felt especially timely. In light of Trump’s executive order banning travel and immigration from seven Muslim nations, Simons’ love letter to the big apple was a powerful statement about the immigrant experience. Whether seen on duct tape used as belts or on sweaters “I Heart NY” was dotted all throughout the collection, interspersed with unifying phrases like “I heart you” and “walk with me.” The messages echoed the emphatic sentiments seen on protest signs throughout the country while one t-shirt that read “any way out of this” could be seen from the perspective of an outsider escaping tragedy and chose to seek refuge in the United States.
Designer Robert James used political language at his New York Men’s Day presentation on Monday at Dune Studios in a much more overt way. His models actually held protest signs, transforming the runway into an anti-Trump rally. Check out the video of Robert James’ collection show above. Meanwhile another show featured at New York Men’s Day, Private Policy, is making waves with it’s political statement regarding refugees, with words such as “refugee”, “terrorist”, “violent” and “sneaky” applied to the racially diverse models faces, which is a direct response to President Trump’s executive order banning the entry of citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations and as well as refugees.