Fashion-Messaging: The New Protesting Tool?

The term “fashion statement” goes far beyond wearing a fresh fit to school, work or an event. Fashion can make a powerful statement. 

 It’s why NBA players like Lebron James and Kobe Bryant wore “I Can’t Breathe” shirts in 2014, protesting police brutality after the tragic death of Eric Garner It’s why women in the Democratic Party decided to wear all white to Donald Trump’s 2020 State of theUnionAddress, paying homage to the white outfits often worn by suffragists during their fight to get women’s votes recognized. It’s why Beyonce and her dancers wore black berets and leather suits during her 2016 Super Bowl halftime show, paying homage to the Black Panthers, Black Lives Matter and Malcolm X. 

People notice what you wear, without you having to say anything. You do need a megaphone and a sign at work to get your message across. An “I Can’t Breathe” shirt or a “Black Lives Matter” facemask will get the job done.

Fashion is valued. In this day and age, fashion messaging is becoming a very popular tool in the Black Lives Matter movement. When you wear a pair of “I matter” Afro Chucks ( you are saying, I like to look good, and I’d like to share my message.

Fashion messaging is a protesting tool that can be used in areas where protesting is frowned upon or seen as disorderly. People will disagree with the message, some might feel offended with the message, but at the end of the day, your t-shirt, your hat, your tennis shoes are just articles of clothing. Many turn to clothing with powerful messages to make a statement in an area that might not be so inclined to listen. If it’s on your shirt, and everyone else's shirt, they don’t have to listen, it’s right there in front of them.


Stay fashionable. Keep up the fight!