Kathryn Bigelow, Lorene Scafaria, Greta Gerwig, Lulu Wang… Who are they?
It wasn’t until Maria Grazia Chiuri became the new creative director of Christian Dior and showcased this gorgeous name-embroidered cape for Natalie Portman at the 2020 Oscars, that we started to realize a new wave of feminism is here. While we can all agree that the names I mentioned above are iconic and extraordinary, none of them were nominated for the Academy Awards. Grazia Chiuri stitched them onto the cape to protest the negligence and discrimation that Hollywood has towards female directors.
Maria Grazia Chiuri herself is an extremely enthusiastic feminst. After leaving Valentino and then becoming the most important part of La Maison Dior, her feministic advocacy side started to become exceptionally effective.
Maria may not be the starter of this new movement, but she is the pioneer and is making a significant statement, shaking the fashion industry, spreading to the film industry, and even the beauty industry.
People often assume that women are always leaders in the beauty industry. However, surprisingly, many internationally renowned beauty brands were founded by males. Besides Estée Lauder and Clinique, almost all other brand name beauty companies’ founders were males. Lancôme, Kiehl’s, Clarins, M.A.C., NARS, and Caudalie; just to name a few. Gradually, by the end of the 20th century, we could see female makeup artists like Laura Mercier and Bobbi Brown emerging in this industry and setting a precedent for others.
Right now, with more influence from the feminist movement, more independent beauty brands founded by outstanding female businesswomen scream for equality and fill in the blanks. Jamika Martin founded ROSEN in her dorm; Kristin Ess has her namesake hair empire; and Jen Atkin’s Instagram page says it all “OUAI is mine”, simple yet powerful. This is also the way they design their products, simple yet powerful, just like that Dior T-shirt, blank white tee that reads “WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS” printed on it. The feminist movement as a whole is also simple yet powerful.
Although the feminist movement has been around for so long that its hard to pin point it’s clear start, it’s got the most unique reverberation. Women are huge supporters of Maria’s design and the newly appeared feminism-first beauty products. There’s no endless parade, no hurting speech, no hatred against each other; but every day, day and night, women know they support each other in every beautiful glare, silky swipe, and floral spray.