Webby for Good is a collaborative program formed by The Webby Awards and WP Engine to showcase Webby-recognized projects built to change the world.

Describe your Webby-nominated project. What’s the elevator pitch?

In response to President Donald J. Trump's travel ban, models, photographers, designers, and stylists took a break from New York Fashion Week to share the united statement: I am an Immigrant.

Why this particular cause as the subject of your project/campaign? Was there a moment that inspired it?

In January, 2017, President Donald J. Trump issued an executive order that barred refugees and citizens from 7 Muslim countries from entering the US. In the aftermath of that travel ban, there was outrage from all corners of the world toward the White House’s apparent anti-immigration policies. Fashion people aren’t as insulated as they might seem; they’ve been equally appalled by the rhetoric stemming from Washington, perhaps because so many members of this colorful community are immigrants themselves, certainly friends, partners, collaborators, admirers of immigrant artists and designers.

What concerns were there about pursuing this idea? How did you get past them?

The fashion industry not always seen as being political, but the fashion industry is made up of marginalized groups—immigrants, people of color, women, the LGBTQ community. Just as the United States—socially, politically, economically—would not exist without immigrants, so, too, is the backbone of the fashion industry informed by the dialogue between cultures and the tireless work of individuals migrating from other countries.

What was the most rewarding aspect of working on your project? What did you learn in the process that you didn't know/expect going into it?

The sheer volume of people who were willing to take a stand, and speak out on behalf of immigrants in the United States was truly inspiring.

What real-world impact were you hoping to make with this project? Did the real-world impact meet your expectations?

After the election of Trump, the fashion industry was forced to wake up. On set, model Anja Rubik explained: “Fashion has the power to actually create trends—not just trends like, ‘What’s in: blue or red?’ but social statements and social trends. So the fashion world should be even more engaged.” Now, that's happening. Fashion brands are tackling political issues in their collections and campaigns, the industry is doing more to protect models and promote diversity. It's just a start, but it is progress.

Was the tech/medium you chose crucial to conveying your message? If so, why?

Instagram was the most important platform, because many of the subjects had a large following there and were able to engage their users, as well.

Credits

  • Kloss Films
  • Edward Enninful

About the Public Service & Activism (Video) category

Social video designed to elevate a cause or provoke action. Platform agnostic—enter any and all social media that best exemplify your work.