A group of protesters gave attendees at New York Fashion Week: Men's something to think about, without saying a word.
More than a dozen protesters planted their feet and raised their hands outside the main venue on day two of the event to call out the fashion industry's silence on Black Lives Matter, The Cut reports.
They stood silently, wearing T-shirts and holding signs reading "Black Lives Matter" and "Stop Killing Us" as people entered the building, according to the Cut.
— Constance C.R. White (@OfficialCwhite) July 12, 2016
The protest was staged by stylist and blogger, Hannah Stoudemire.
This was the highlight of my New York Men's Fashion Week experience today. Hannah organized a protest outside of the shows to bring awareness of injustice toward the Black community. I had a very enlightening conversation with her and friends. As someone who is deeply involved in the fashion industry, she said she was disappointed that no major fashion houses acknowledged the killings that were happening, so she brought a show to them. "When they hired me, they knew I was black and this comes with it," she said. "It didn't sit right with me to be in there watching a bunch of clothes pass by when a bunch of our lives are being taken." #nymfw #nymfw2016
Ahead of the protest, she announced on Instagram that she would not be attending the event because, unlike other tragedies like the Paris attacks and the Orlando shootings, major fixtures in the fashion world did not acknowledge the recent police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
The Fashion Industry acknowledged the Paris Attacks and The Orlando Shootings, but not once did they acknowledge the innocent black lives lost to police brutality. Today is Day 1 of NYC Men's Fashion Week and I will not attend this year and I know that my presence will not be missed, nor will it matter and business will carry on as usual, but not for me. I'm just not built that way. How do you think I feel as a Black woman who works in this industry? #BLACKLIVESMATTER #AcknowledgeUs #altonsterling #philandocastile #activism #justice #nyfw #nyfwm #mensfashion #fashion #fashionindustry #blogger #fashionblogger #fashionweek #standup #speakout #wematter #nyc
Another member of the fashion world, designer Jamila Mariama made a similar criticism in the wake of the deaths, and it was later shared by models Torraine Futurum and Hari Nef, Complex reported last week.
Stoudemire told ELLE that she'd been organizing the protest for a year and planned to do it in September during the more popular women's fashion week, but she decided on the switch after Sterling was shot.
Following the protest, fashion week organizers, Council of Fashion Designers of America, did post a photo of the protest on their Instagram account, along with the caption: "An important reminder no matter how busy the week. #blacklivesmatter."