“Power isn’t limited to Pennsylvania Avenue. Women make an impact every day—through their work, communities and the purchases they make.” That is the statement in the description of the short video promoting Eileen Fisher’s Fall 2017 campaign. Unlike regular fashion campaigns and images, this one is all about highlighting the work of a group of diverse women who are using their voice to better their world.
Featuring 8 different female badasses, ‘Power. In the words of Women’ is also designed to encourage everyday women to use their voice and tap into their own potential power within. Using the hashtag #RealPower, although the campaign is not overtly political, we can’t help but see how the overall message taps into the current climate around US politics and how women and minorities are standing up and speaking out like never before.
“We believe in real women. We make clothes for real women. But this moment is bigger than the clothes women are wearing. We want to talk about what women are doing, what we’re all trying to do together. We hope women will see themselves in this campaign and experience it as the invitation that it is intended to be: an invitation to see the power that is within them—and all around them,” designer Eileen Fisher herself told Forbes.com.
The women include Amanda Gorman, the National Youth Poet Laureate and executive director of One Pen One Page; Nyla Rogers, the founder and CEO of Mama Hope; Kathryn Finney, the founder of digitalundivided; Nicole Jennings, founder of Just Ask Me, a peer-led sex education program at the Bronx Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corp.; Erikka Electra James, Director of High School Programming at the Lower Eastside Girls Club; Colleen Saidman Yee, author of Yoga for Life, co-founder of Urban Zen Integrative Therapy; Carmen Gama, Remade designer, and Eileen Fisher herself.
The black and white studio portraits were taken by British photographer Abbie Trayler-Smith, making this a female-powered campaign all around. Abbie has worked globally for Time, BBC, Oxfam, UNICEF and International Rescue Committee, and also got to share her vision of what real power is to her.
“I see that all around the world women have less power. Wherever I go, that’s a common theme, and that’s something I like to bring out in my work. It’s about highlighting those issues and giving those women a platform,” she said on the website.
“We each get to play a part in making this world a better place, and I feel the combination of all of our words and sentiments paint the picture of the future that is possible when everyone is able to be powerful,” said Nyla Rogers, whose organization trains entrepreneurs in impoverished areas across the globe in the effort to end extreme poverty.
There are a number of major fashion and beauty brands that are riding the wave of female empowerment, spurred on in large part by Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ campaign, and of course the ‘Like A Girl’ movement created by feminine hygiene brand Always. While there are many brands seeming to capitalize on yet another trend, there are those like Eileen Fisher who have been consistent in the way they blend social messaging into the ethos of the company, knowing the reach they have with their recognizable name.
Kathryn Finney, whose company trains and supports Black and Latin women-led start-ups acknowledged how important it is to see the inclusion of diverse women and their voices in fashion campaigns, which have previously been exclusively reserved for an unattainable standard of beauty and image of women.
“I think it’s awesome that more and more brands are opening up to opportunities to feature real women who lead real lives and have real values. We’ve lived far too long in a society that preaches the same cookie-cutter standards of perfection that is almost unattainable except to a few blessed with really excellent genes. I’m glad that we’re moving away from this impossible aesthetics and embracing compelling authenticity instead,” she said.
Each of the women featured work in their various fields to empower other women and girls and want to see change. Power in the hands of a determined woman can be an unstoppable force, and it is fantastic to see inspiring messages of empowerment being given a bigger platform in the normally narrow world of fashion and beauty.
“We chose these women because they inspired us. Each woman is using her voice to better her community and the larger world,” said Eileen Fisher about the featured women.
“There are people all over the world who, given the chance to have access to resources, would completely change this world,” said Nyla Rogers about why she founded her company.
“There is nothing more powerful than a woman who owns who she is. Nothing,” said Kathryn Finney.
To hear more from each woman, watch the short promo video below, and head over to the Eileen Fisher ‘Power. In the words of Women’ landing page to learn more about #realpower.