Central Park Women's Suffrage Monument Redesigned to Include Sojourner Truth

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For nearly a year, the proposed Central Park statue honoring women’s suffrage in America has been plagued in controversy. It’s difficult to believe that in 2019, planners of the monument could be so tone-deaf to the race-related arguments swirling around America’s women’s rights history.

The Women’s March 2017, organized by a group of women who refused to honor legendary women’s rights Hillary Clinton, after her defeat by Donald Trump. signaled a new day for setting the record straight — the truth and also new lies and distortions — about the history of American feminism.

The original design by sculptor Meredith Bergmann visually elevated two prominent white women — Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton — over a scrolling list of 22 other women, seven of them women of color. AOC disagrees with the complaint that Anthony and Stanton were metaphorically “standing’ on the other women.” But they certainly look like boss ladies at a time when younger people are rejecting hierarchy and white superiority, along with a nonexistent recognition of the contributions of people of color — and slaves specifically — in building America.

For context, there is NO statue of any nonfictional female of any skin color in Central Park and around New York, writes the New York Times. The park currently features no historical women but statues of fictional girls like Alice from Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and Juliet from William Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet.’

While a new visual of the proposed statue to be erected on Central Park’s Literary Walk by 2020 is not available, it’s a miracle that the proposed design was aborted at all. Women including Gloria Steinem helped turn back the design against the nearly insurmountable rules and regulations that defined its artistic creation initially and the legitimate controversy that ensued.

“Our goal has always been to honor the diverse women in history who fought for equality and justice and who dedicated their lives to fight for Women’s Rights,” Pam Elam said in a statement. The president of the Monumental Women’s Statue Fund, the group financing the sculpture, added: “It is fitting that Anthony, Stanton, and Truth stand together in this statue as they often did in life.” via Hyperallergic.

Over 100 Top Models + Time's Up Join Model Alliance In Open Letter to Victoria's Secret

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On Tuesday morning, over 100 models, including Christy Turlington Burns, Edie Campbell, Karen Elson, Milla Jovovich, Doutzen Kroes, and Gemma Ward, signed an open letter addressed directly to Victoria’s Secret. The letter petitioned the lingerie brand to take concrete actions in protecting models against sexual misconduct.

The letter was properly addressed to Victoria’s Secret’s CEO John Mehas and it pulled no punches:

We are writing today to express our concern for the safety and wellbeing of the models and young women who aspire to model for Victoria’s Secret. In the past few weeks, we have heard numerous allegations of sexual assault, alleged rape, and sex trafficking of models and aspiring models. While these allegations may not have been aimed at Victoria's Secret directly, it is clear that your company has a crucial role to play in remedying the situation. From the headlines about L Brands CEO Leslie Wexner’s close friend and associate, Jeffrey Epstein, to the allegations of sexual misconduct by photographers Timur Emek, David Bellemere, and Greg Kadel, it is deeply disturbing that these men appear to have leveraged their working relationships with Victoria’s Secret to lure and abuse vulnerable girls.

L Brands CEO Les Wexner (l) and former CMO Ed Razek (r) in happier times.

L Brands CEO Les Wexner (l) and former CMO Ed Razek (r) in happier times.

The letter then proceeds to invite Victoria’s Secret to join the RESPECT Program —a program of the Model Alliance—is the only existing anti-sexual harassment program designed by and for models.

Signatory companies make a binding commitment to require their employees, agents, vendors, photographers and other contractors to follow a code of conduct that protects everyone’s safety on the job, and reduces models’ vulnerability to mistreatment. Models have access to an independent, confidential complaint mechanism, with swift and fair resolution of complaints and appropriate consequences for abusers. Further, RESPECT includes a robust training program aimed toward prevention, to ensure that everyone understands their rights and responsibilities.

“Corporations tend to treat the discovery of abuses as public-relations crises to be managed rather than human-rights violations to be remedied,” says Sara Ziff, the founder and executive director of the Model Alliance. “The RESPECT Program provides Victoria’s Secret an opportunity not only to right the wrongs of the past but also to work towards prevention.”

Ziff recently penned an essay for the Cut detailing her own encounter with Epstein as a young model. She highlighted just how long an imbalance of power and lack of protections have “plagued” the industry. She wrote: “Now, we need the support of agencies, publishing companies, and fashion brands who want to do better by the talent who they purport to protect.”

In November, the Model Alliance issued a statement following disgraced L Brands Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek’s infamous Vogue interview in advance of Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Razek retired from Victoria’s Secret on Monday.

Valentina Sampaio Shoots Pink Campaign for Victoria's Secret, As Ed Razek Steps Down from L Brands

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Valentina Sampaio Shoots Pink Campaign for Victoria's Secret, As Ed Razek Steps Down from L Brands

We have the welcome news that Victoria’s Secret Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek has retired in the wake of growing fallout around Jeffrey Epstein’s connections to L Brands chief and major stockholder Les Wexner. The plot has thickened so deep that even I — who worked in the business for a decade and knew both men well — am waiting for the next shoe to drop.

Razek was riding high — not in terms of VS revenues and profits, which were clobbered last year — but in an interview with Vogue in advance of the now cancelled, annual Victoria’s Secret fashion show. Among the tough questions fielded to Razek was one about using ‘transsexual’ models in the fashion show.

Razek claimed that “transsexual” models should not be cast “because the show is fantasy.” We know he meant “male fantasy” which is among the many reasons for the decline of VS. Former Victoria’s Secret Angel Karlie Kloss and current Angel Lily Aldridge clapped back online, stating that trans and gender non-conforming lives are not up for debate.

In a bit of poetic justice, Razek is out and transgender beauty Valentina Sampaio, a 22-year-old model hailing from Brazil, has shot a new campaign for Victoria’s Secret Pink.

Bernie Sanders Campaign Should Stop The White Women's Privilege Lectures

Bernie Sanders Campaign Should Stop The White Women's Privilege Lectures

Last February Jennifer Wright addressed Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders’ problem with women, writing Bernie Sanders’ Sexism Problem for Harper’s Bazaar.

“We have got to look at candidates, you know, not by the color of their skin, not by their sexual orientation or their gender and not by their age. I mean, I think we have got to try to move us toward a non-discriminatory society which looks at people based on their abilities, based on what they stand for.” Vermont Public Radio, Feb. 2019

Many women and people of color view that statement as a reaffirmation of the “let white men rule, we’re better at it” theory of political governance. Wright perfects her roast of Sanders, and I encourage to read her piece, while I pull out a few highlights that still simmer in my conscious as a super active person in the Hillary Clinton campaign.

There was a bit of poetic justice when women who worked for Bernie in his 2016 primary campaign came forward to discuss how they were paid less and experienced sexual harassment. You see, with rare exceptions — finally hiring Symone Sanders who served as his national press secretary until late June 2016 — Bernie couldn’t really find many good women of any skin color to hire at a high level. His campaign was run by white men — a feature that he has fixed in his current 2020 run for the Democratic nomination.

Still, when women working in the field and as organizers complained about both wages and fending off sexual advances from male staffers, Bernie grabbed his mop of white hair and defended his inaction saying initially “I was a little bit busy running around the country”. After all, Bernie Sanders said that “women’s issues were a distraction” and Planned Parenthood — who is getting the crap kicked out of them by the Trump administration — is “the establishment”.

LVMH Takes Minority Position In Stella McCartney | Makes Stella Sustainability Adviser To Arnault

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LVMH Takes Minority Position In Stella MCCartney | Makes Stella Sustainability Adviser To Arnault

Stella McCartney is making front page news with the announcement that the designer, who abandoned her relationship with Kerring in 2018, has now joined forces with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury group.

McCartney will remain in her role as her brand’s creative director and also as majority stockholder in the Stella McCartney business. Her additional responsibilities include becoming a special adviser to Bernard Arnault, LVMH’s chairman, and also to the LVMH board, on the topic of sustainability.

The fashion industry has an enormously negative and earth-harming footprint on the environment, and no one in fashion world is better prepared to fill this role of LVMH adviser on sustainability than Stella McCartney.

The addition of Stella McCartney’s voice and brand to the LVMH creative and leadership stable underscores the company’s commitment to gender equity. Since 2017, LVMH has named Maria Grazia Chiuri to head Dior and Claire Waight Keller to lead Givenchy. Arnaut has taken a minority position in the also sustainability-focused Gabriela Hearst, while creating a blockbuster disruption of the entire luxury industry with the creation of a new fashion house Fenty, created with Rihanna.

Valora Stroganoff's Threat Of Wild Women, Lensed By Luca Meneghe For Numéro France

Valora Stroganoff's Threat Of Wild Women, Lensed By Luca Meneghe For Numéro France

Model Vaiora Stroganoff is styled by Clement Lomellini as a wild, forest woman — she who has a long, metaphorical and anthropological history of always subverting patriarchy. Clearly, the wild woman cannot be trusted, and her irrational state of being represents a constant threat to western civilization.

Photographer Luca Meneghel captures Vaiora in ‘En Créature de la Forêt’ for Numéro France July 2019./ Hair by Paul Duchemin; makeup by Laetitia Sireix