Donatella Versace and Miuccia Prada are best known as two of the most powerful women in the industry. Even people with very low fashion literacy know that Versace and Prada lead the luxury pack when it comes to flash factor and conspicuous consumption, a real achievement in the image- and status-driven world of fashion.
But fewer people know that the two women at the head of these brands aren't just designers, they're also dispirited feminists. Prada has spoken openly about how her involvement with the political movement in its heyday made her reluctant to pursue a career in fashion. She's said, with some regret, that feminism's largely dead in Italy today.
A reporter from The Telegraph approached Versace to ask if she agreed with her friend and colleague.
"Feminism is dead in the world. It comes from another time. I'm a feminist. I want to fight, but I don't see many people with this desire to fight for something. Women don't help each other, especially in fashion. I know Miuccia… but that's it. Nobody else."
Dear Donatella: Feminism is not dead! It's no longer the same kind of widespread, powerful movement it was several decades ago, but there are women all over (the world?) hungry to talk about what that kind of movement would be like today, and how to make it happen. They would be willing to fight with you! The only caveat: most of them don't belong to the upper echelons of the fashion industry, and some of them might not know how to mix prints.
Image via WENN