TALK’S NOT CHEAP: Never one to hold back, Katharine Hamnett implored fashion customers to take a stand, and urge brands to be more responsible and sustainable, during a talk at Liberty in London, where she also showed her spring 2018 collection.
“We have to write to brands about going organic. We have to boycott brands that have bad labor practices and disgusting practices — particularly slave labor. Garment manufacturing should be a feminist issue. Women do massive purchasing because women do buy for men — apart from themselves,” the designer said during a Q&A with Sarah Mower on Thursday.
She also reminisced about some of her most famous acts of political protest, in particular the day she visited then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1984 wearing a big white T-shirt that read “58 Percent Don’t Want Pershing.” The statement referred to a poll that showed most Britons objected to having Pershing missiles based in the country.
The designer, who was attending a fashion industry event at Downing Street, said Thatcher reacted with a loud shriek when she saw the T-shirt. The prime minister later approached her to say that there weren’t any Pershing missiles at Downing Street and that she might have ended up at the wrong party.
Asked what she would wear to meet Prime Minister Theresa May, Hamnett said a shirt with the words “Second Referendum.”
Last September, Hamnett took part in the People’s March for Europe, where thousands gathered at Hyde Park Corner in London and marched through the capital to Parliament Square. She spoke alongside singer and songwriter Bob Geldof during the pro-European Union rally, and designed a “Cancel Brexit” T-shirt for the cause.
The designer also took the opportunity to showcase her spring 2018 men’s and women’s collection at Liberty. The range consisted of outerwear and separates with utilitarian silhouettes, including sleek dresses, a bomber jacket and shirts with oversize pockets.