A Denim Brand Is Laser-Etching #MeToo News Stories on its Jeans

The reactions are...mixed.

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In the wake of the #MeToo movement, two women are making a statement with their politically and socially-charged fashion line, Denimcratic. Gabriella Meyer and Marta Goldschmied launched their We Wear the Pants collection, a limited-edition line that features two denim pieces and one T-shirt, in the hopes of sparking a dialogue about sexual harassment.

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On the skinny jeans and denim jacket, the ladies laser-etched an estimated 30 news reports on stories of sexual harassment in the workplace. The articles were printed by newspapers such as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe. The buttons on the pieces have the phrase, "We wear the pants," while the T-shirt simple features a photo of a woman unbuttoning her jeans and the words "Want: Women who wear the pants." (The photo was taken by Meyer herself).

“I liked the idea of using denim, which has in recent history been the fabric of revolution, but that started out as very much a man’s uniform,” Meyer said to The New York Times. “Plus, the denim industry is still very male dominated.”
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For Meyer, these three pieces are the fruits of her labor since launching Denimcratic in college. For Goldschmied, it was her way of taking back ownership of her own sexual harassment experience. (She was reportedly harassed by Gary Brifil, who's the majority owner of Made Gold—a company Goldschmied herself helped to start.) The two women met by chance in 2017 and their partnership has cumulated into these three political pieces.

Though they have a message to share with the world, not everyone on Twitter was receptive to the creations. One user pointed out the limited sizing options (jeans only go up to a size 10), another touched on the price point ($375 for a denim jacket?), and some took offense to having the actual stories from victims printed on clothes, which are then being sold for a profit. (Though, in Meyer and Goldschmieds defense, 10 percent of all sales will go to the National Women’s Law Center.)

Regardless of the side you take, Meyer and Goldschmieds are only a part of a larger puzzle when it comes to how fashion approaches the discussion of social issues of our time. Past brands like Topshop have sparked controversy with its "Fake News" jeans and designers such as Alexander Wang and Missoni (remember the pink pussy hats?) both have made political statements on the runway. And, no doubt, there will be many more designers and artists with messages to make in 2018.

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