Vera Wang & More Designers Talk Activism on the Red Carpet

Fashion and entertainment sectors converged on Wednesday in Los Angeles at the launch of the Runway to Red Carpet Showcase, which serves as a resource for stylists to access the work of American and emerging designers. It’s open through March 4 at the new Fred Segal Sunset store in West Hollywood, Calif.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), Variety and Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) hosted the luncheon, with a special conversation by event co-chair Vera Wang with WWD West Coast bureau chief Marcy Medina.

Below, stylists, designers and entertainers talked with FN about celebrity activism on the red carpet.


Vera Wang

“I think the Golden Globes made a strong statement and it’s wonderful. If you galvanize the world of entertainment and fashion, it’s extraordinary that we can band together and show our power. Not only can we create film and product, but we can also influence the world.”

Carly Cushnie, Co-founder, Cushnie et Ochs

“Fashion is a very powerful tool, so I think it’s incredible that people are choosing to make a statement as bold as uniting on the red carpet. I think you should be able to talk about what you’re wearing as well as have it be a political message. You can stand for both things — you can be a woman and celebrate fashion, and be smart and have a political view and speak to all of those things on a red carpet.”

Diane von Furstenberg

“I think the big thing about this year is what’s happening to women. Something has been unleashed and I don’t think we’re going to put that cover back again. There are so many women nominees this year for so many categories, and this is just the beginning.”

Law Roach, Stylist

“There are a lot of amazing movements that women are standing behind — that everyone’s standing behind. There’s a heaviness to it, but it’s also a celebration of women’s voices and stepping into power. I just love being the supporting act to all the women I work with.”

Serayah, Singer-Actress

“There was a lot of unity this year. Everyone wore black at the Golden Globes. I feel like right now is an awareness time, whether everyone’s aware of what’s going on from one social issues to the next. Transforming that into fashion is cool to me, but also finding individuality within that. It’s becoming social costumes — it’s connecting those two worlds together.”

Cristina Ehrlich, Stylist

“Everything that started in the early part of the fall with Times Up and Me Too, it’s become a different landscape for the red carpet. I think, at first, not many people knew how impactful and how many voices there would be. I think that now when women get ready for the red carpet, the thought about how they get ready is different than in the past. There’s a real conversation and camaraderie. Women are really thinking about what they want to say — it’s not just a dress, it’s a feeling. I think that you’re going to see women finding very different ways to express themselves.”

Aurora James, Creative Director of Brother Vellies

“I think it’s really important as creative people that we always use our platform to communicate what we’re going through. I think Brother Vellies has always been a vehicle for empowerment — that’s why I work in Haiti, Africa and other places.

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