American Designers Took a Powerful Stance on Immigration This Morning

Gina Marinelli

If there was one universal theme across all international runways this past Fashion Month it was style powered by activism. Of course, we wouldn’t call it a trend—politics and fashion have worked hand-in-hand for a long time. But in the latest announcement today from the CFDA, American fashion designers are getting behind the issue of immigration in a whole new way.

During a press conference this morning, the CFDA revealed that it’s teamed with FWD.us, an organization founded by leaders in technology (including Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates) and aimed at supporting and improving immigration policies that help make it possible for people to thrive in the U.S. Together, these two organizations have released a new report, which outlines the importance of, and the possible threat to, immigration as it pertains to the fashion industry.

“New York is the fashion capital of the country and, indeed, the world. Our fashion sector employs 180,000 people and generates $11 billion in wages every year,” said U.S. Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, according to a press release. And in alluding to the current political climate, which might bring bigger challenges in immigration to the U.S., she added, “Making it more difficult for skilled foreign workers in the fashion industry to enter the United States will make it harder for the industry to survive and will do irreparable harm our city’s economy.”

The full report also outlines three solutions that FWD.us and the CFDA are currently proposing, including a system to retain foreign students, as well as create a clear path to citizenship, for those with valuable specialty skills in the fashion industry.

“Young people with limitless talent and potential will continue building and innovating in our industry as long as we put in place immigration policies that allow the U.S. to remain a magnet for them,” said CFDA chairwoman Diane von Furstenberg this morning. And as a representative of an organization that works collaboratively with nearly every major American designer, there will be a lot of power to back this new initiative and spread the word on the latest findings.

Click over for the full immigration report from the CFDA and FWD.us, as well as designs from DVF should you want to support one of the industry leaders behind this cause.

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