Patti Smith

CAN YOU HEAR ME?: Add Saks Fifth Avenue to the list of companies tying into women’s empowerment as a vehicle to connect with shoppers.

The retailer kicked off its “Fearless Women” speaker series with model and activist Lauren Wasser Thursday night and the spotlight at the Fifth Avenue flagship will now turn to former “Girls” actress and artist Jemima Kirke and Lower East Side gallery owner Allegra LaViola. Attendees at the store’s Sept. 26 event will catch a performance by musician and author Patti Smith.

Seating will be first-come-first-served, and the discussions are meant to cover an array of topics. Tracy Margolies, chief merchant for Saks Fifth Avenue, said, “Saks looked for a wide range of speakers and performers who resonated with our clients. We wanted to touch on areas outside fashion such as entertainment, entrepreneurship, activism and more.”

Next month’s events will start Oct. 3 with “The Survival Guide to Bullying” author Aija Mayrock in conversation with Refinery29’s Piera Giradi. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics founder Bobbi Brown, The Women’s March cofounder Breanne Butler, singer-songwriter Kim Petras, artist, poet and author Cleo Wade “Man Repeller’s” Leandra Medine, Jimmy Choo creative director Sandra Choi and Baby2Baby’s Kelly Sawyer will also be making appearances.

Several of the speakers are included in Saks’ fall fashion book including Mayrock, Sawyer and Butler, with hope being they “will continue to be proponents of Saks,” Margolies said.

Saks aims to be part of the bigger conversation beyond shopping and the latest trends.

In recent months, the fashion crowd has been transmitting an all-are-welcome mentality. Runway shows by Michael Kors, Christian Siriano, Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty featured more diversified models and of different ethnicities. Earlier this month, Harvey Nichols celebrated women with a more unconventional campaign. The prestigious retailer changed its name to “Holly Nichols” for the month, changing the sign on the front of the store and via its social media channels. In addition, a hollynichols.com site was created. Its “Let’s Hear It for the Girls” campaign includes trunk shows, in-store talks and brand parties.

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