The invitation read denim casual as guests joined Guess Inc. and the nonprofit Peace Over Violence in the fight against sexual violence.
The jeans — worn in support of sexual assault survivors — served as a powerful reminder of the evening’s cause as speaker after speaker took to the stage just outside the doors to the Museum of Contemporary Art Tuesday evening in downtown Los Angeles.
The cocktail event brought out Guess cofounder Paul Marciano and musicians Aloe Blacc and Maya Jupiter in addition to Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick, the producer and director, respectively, of documentary “The Hunting Ground.”
The evening represented the start of a series of awareness events leading up to the actual Denim Day April 27.
“We want to make noise. That’s the job,” Marciano told the crowd standing outside the museum.
A preview of the marketing video for the public service announcement was shown during the event. The campaign will consist of print, outdoor signage, digital and in-cab TVs. Guess, Guess Factory and G by Guess retail stores in the U.S. and Canada will carry imagery from the campaign in stores and online. Additionally, 10 percent of all sales of its denim and some accessories from April 25 through April 30 will be donated by the Guess Foundation to Peace Over Violence.
“Guess is the first international company and brand to have the courage and the chutzpah to take on the taboo of rape and sexual violence in all its forms,” said Patti Giggans, Denim Day founder and Peace Over Violence executive director.
An Italian Supreme Court decision to overturn a rape conviction on grounds that the victim must have aided her attacker because she was wearing tight jeans sparked widespread anger over the decision and prompted the establishment 17 years ago of the Peace Over Violence Denim Day campaign.
“I think that is beyond outrageous that, as of now, every single year we make a point to go in Italy to talk to Italian people to say ‘This is not OK. Remember that day that the Supreme Court of Italy embarrassed the world to say…wear jeans so you can be raped.’ That’s insane,” said Marciano, whose comments sparked nodding heads and cheers from the crowd.