Gloria Steinem, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Robin Morgan and Julie BurtonWomen's Media Awards, Arrivals, The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, New York, USA - 22 Oct 2019

Nicolas Ghesquière, Louis Vuitton’s artistic director of women’s collections, appeared to take a stand over the weekend and he got some support Tuesday from someone who knows a thing or two about just that.

In an Instagram post, Ghesquière told his 800,000-plus followers how he felt about President Donald Trump, with the help of an image of the cover of the 1984 Evelyn Thomas club hit “High Energy.”

“Standing against any political action. I am a fashion designer refusing this association #trumpisajoke #homophobia,” the designer wrote.

His comment came days after the U.S. president joined Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive officer of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, to inaugurate a new Louis Vuitton leather goods workshop in rural Alvarado, Tex.

When asked about the matter at the annual Women’s Media Center awards in New York, feminist and political activist Gloria Steinem said that it was “absolutely” important for people to be able to express their personal political feelings, regardless of the business decisions that their companies made.

Steinem, for one, certainly has some strong negative feelings about Trump: “That’s a person I wouldn’t shake hands with, let alone do a business deal with. And also, it’s very important to understand that he’s a terrible businessman,” quipped the cofounder of the WMC, on the red carpet before the awards ceremony began.

LVMH has not commented on the Instagram post, but it has been liked by almost 10,000 people, including Camille Miceli, accessories creative director of Louis Vuitton, and designers Giambattista Valli and Julien Dossena. 

While Ghesquière was not at the event, there were representatives from LVMH. Anish Melwani, chairman and ceo of LVMH Inc., its U.S. subsidiary, made an appearance, no doubt to lend his support to Maria Grazia Chiuri, the creative director at Dior.

Fresh from designing Jennifer Lawrence’s wedding dress, Chiuri received the WMC Sisterhood is Powerful Award to celebrate her creation of such “wearable media” as the Dior Sisterhood is Powerful, Global, and Forever T-shirt Collection, and for advancing women’s visibility and power.

Introducing her on stage was feminist poet and author Robin Morgan, also a cofounder of the WMC. She joked that “when you think of Robin Morgan you do not normally think of Christian Dior.”

But that all changed last year when Chiuri approached her to ask if she could make T-shirts emblazoned with the slogans from her book trilogy, including “Sisterhood is Global,” as a tribute to her work as a feminist writer and the women’s group.

“In helping to arrange those things it was a feminist act on her part, but it’s not the first nor last or the only such one under her artistic guidance,” said Morgan. “I hope that the rest of the fashion industry follows her example.”

Racquele Regini and Maria Grazia Chiuri

Maria Grazia Chiuri and her daughter, Rachele Regini, at the WMC Awards.  Clint Spaulding for WWD

Chiuri used her short speech to thank Dior for supporting her and allowing her to use her work as a designer to broadcast a positive message to women of all ages and promote female solidarity and sisterhood.

“There were people who didn’t believe that the creative director of a brand like Dior could be a woman,” she said. “I hope that my message inspires and empowers a new generation of women to believe in themselves.”

Other women honored at the event included actress Eva Longoria, “CBS This Morning” anchor Gayle King and Miami Herald reporter Julie K. Brown. The latter was given the WMC Investigative Journalism Award for reporting the decades of alleged  sexual abuse and assault perpetrated by Jeffrey Epstein. She received a standing ovation from the audience when she announced she had brought two of his victims as her guests for the evening.

The Women’s Media Center’s awards ceremony was created to honor champions for women in media, with honorees awarded for setting the standard for what media should look like when it gives voice to the female half of the country.

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