WE THE PEOPLE: Politics is a conversation thread bound to pretty much any social or professional setting and fashion shows are no exception. Before the lights went down at the Chiara Boni La Petite Robe show Saturday, Kerry Kennedy, president of the nonprofit Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, mentioned another commitment coming up — attending the next Democratic presidential debate Thursday night at Texan Southern University in Houston. The upcoming showdown will feature 10 of the Democratic candidates.
Kennedy said, “I think we are really lucky as Democrats because there are so many. Really we have such a strong field. But I think the only question is, ‘How do we beat Trump?’”
This week’s debate will be the first where rival frontrunners Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders will be on the same stage. As for whether Kennedy has decided on a candidate, she said, “I think Joe Biden has the best chance to win and Elizabeth Warren is somebody who has a great vision and such depth on the issues. She would bring our country in a very new, dynamic and wonderful direction.”
While influencers, retailers and designers may be energized by the back-to-business feeling of fashion week, others are revitalized by the promise of an election year. “I love presidential campaigns. It is a time when people are feeling what is going on in the heart of our country. It’s good to be thinking about those issues,” Kennedy said.
As for the likelihood of a strong voter turnout in 2020, she said, “Let’s hope so for the Democrats — not so much for the Republicans.” As for the level of engagement among voters, Kennedy chalked that up to the difference between “a president that you agree with and one that you don’t agree with. They’re investing in a way that maybe they weren’t before.”
Wearing a teal Chiara Boni-designed dress, her daughter Cara Kennedy Cuomo listened in. She is the ambassador for the “Measuring for a Sustainable Future” project in partnership with Eurojersey. Just as 200 leading chief executive officers have rewritten the purpose of the corporation, fashion executives also are examining the viability of their sustainability efforts or creating them.
Kennedy and Cuomo weren’t the only mother-daughter team at the show. Pat Cleveland and her daughter, Anna, tag-teamed on the runway. A year shy of turning 70, the elder Cleveland showed no signs of her age or having been hospitalized earlier in the year in Paris. Another mother-daughter combo in the front row was Constance White and her model daughter Nefatari Cooper.