The fashion designer has decided to not present her spring 2021 collection and instead use her NYFW time slot today to debut a celebrity-packed video that encourages voter registration.
“In the last five to six months, we’ve really taken a moment and just paused and said, ‘What do we stand for? How do we want to participate in the traditional fashion calendar? How do we want to set our own new path?’” she said during a Zoom call prior to the video’s debut. “This fashion week was a particularly important one with the election coming up, so I thought we could use our voice and our time on the calendar when everyone’s looking at fashion to be able to really show our audience what’s important to us, and for us, that’s explaining how to register to vote.”
The video, which is titled “Things That Take Longer Than Registering to Vote,” shows several female celebrities and influential figures doing mundane, everyday tasks that take longer than the two minutes it takes to register to vote.
Those featured in the video include 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton playing with her dog, actress Mindy Kaling watering her plants, model Iskra Lawrence changing her baby’s diaper, Brother Vellies designer Aurora James making coffee and “Saturday Night Live” actress Sasheer Zamata hula hooping, among other women.
“What we really wanted to get across is that it only takes two minutes to register to vote and everyone has time for that,” Taylor said. “The whole point isn’t supposed to be so funny because it’s such boring stuff, like ‘Oh yeah I can make a sandwich, I water my garden, so I should register to vote.’ It’s decomplicating the whole process and for someone who is young and maybe getting a lot of messages from different places, we thought this could be a really simple way to encourage them.”
Taylor, a Canadian citizen who has been based in New York City since 2007, cannot vote in the U.S. election, but she wanted to highlight voter registration during fashion week because she knows how important the upcoming election is for her community.
“My business is a New York City business, our employees are American and leadership affects our livelihood,” she said. “This is an important election and I feel a responsibility to my team and to my community to use the platform that I have to advocate for what I believe in. It’s important to still be a cheerleader even if you can’t play in the game.”
Even though she’s using her fashion week time slot to debut the voter registration video, Taylor has still produced a spring 2021 collection that she plans to show in February when it’s available for purchase.
“We realized that our customer doesn’t feel engaged with New York Fashion Week because they can’t buy anything,” she said. “They’re seeing something and it may not even get produced and they are tempted, but then they can’t purchase it for six months. We wanted to make it a lot easier for someone to translate their excitement about something to a purchase.”
The designer has historically looked to nontraditional formats for New York Fashion Week, presenting her collections through mediums such as art installations, women’s luncheons and comedy videos. Most recently, Taylor debuted her fall 2020 collection in a six-part video series called “Fashun Week,” which tapped stars such as Mamet, Zamata, Jane Krakowski, Michelle Buteau and Gillian Jacobs.
Taylor is also teaming with Fashion Our Future 2020, a multibrand initiative to increase voter turnout. The designer’s web site features action buttons from the initiative where customers can register to vote, check their registration status and receive other voting-related information.
“I hope people will enjoy the video and register,” Taylor continued. “I think they’ll realize we’re putting ourselves out there and trying to spread a message that this can’t wait and that registering is urgent. The next couple of months are important for everybody, and they have a voice in what happens.”
Watch the video here:
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