It was the fashion show finale heard ’round the world: Karl Lagerfeld’s feminism protest during Paris Fashion Week. Though the kaiser has since met criticism of “dressing up” the sociopolitical, and economic debate, Gigi Hadid, who walked in the show, fully backs its aim.
“It was right after I had watched Emma Watson’s He for She speech, and I was really inspired by that,” Hadid told Glam at Thursday night’s eighth annual God’s Love We Deliver Golden Heart Gala. “I thought she did it so beautifully. To be in that show, that’s really what I was channeling… I think for every girl in the show, it meant something different”
If you remember, the Chanel’s Spring 2015 debut ended with Lagerfeld leading the likes of Cara Delevingne, Gisele Bundchen, Kylie Jenner, and Malaika Firth down the catwalk with fervent chants and signs proclaiming “History is Her Story,” with Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman” soundtracking the scene. Sure, it was a “fake” protest, but Hadid said its message was far from phony.
“In rehearsal, most of us were pretty shy about yelling and being part of a ‘protest,’ but I think we all got inspired right before they show,” she told us. “They came and said, ‘This is for you to put out on to the world stage whatever this means to you. You have to realize this show is on the world stage. Everyone talks about, watches, hears about the Chanel show, and if you can make that mean something to you, make that come out as your energy for the finale, that’s what you have to do.’”
The scene was in fact on the world stage and critics abounded. Media Research Center fellow Katie Yoder was one. She told Fox, “Using a fashion show purportedly to spread ‘feminism’ should spark disgust among all women. With Karl Lagerfeld’s past criticisms of curvy women, the message he sends appears hypocritical and suggests that white, thin, tall women are the only acceptable champions of the movement.”
Lagerfeld, of course, wasn’t phased.
“I couldn’t care less if people are for or against,” he told Fashionista. “It’s my idea. I like the idea of feminism being something light-hearted, not a truck driver for the feminist movement.”