A Fashion Show That Promotes What Never Should Happen

“It Cannot Be Fashionable”

As part of the International Campaign of 16 days of Activism against Gender based violence, N’weti and DDB Mozambique partnered up to create a different fashion show during this year’s Mozambique Fashion Week. This show closed the campaign that happens every year from the 25th of November to the 10th of December, International Human Rights Day.

In a world where single voices are very often silenced, it is very important for those who can speak to actually stand up against  injustice as the media will mask many, many things and tragedies can go unnoticed. It may seem to the naked eye that with the internet it is much easier to speak out, but instead it is like screaming on a crowded street: no one will hear you unless you really attract their attention, but with so many people screaming, others start ignoring so the question arises: how to actually make the ignoring crowd listen?

Fashion For Activism

The fashion industry may have its flaws and  controversies, but it still has a firm voice and grasp on advocating for rights. Sometimes they are stunts as the designer doesn’t feel the same way and issues are used as a marketing tool, meaning they use activism not to raise awareness to the issue (like Karl Lagerfeld’s Feminism end of  show) but to actually market their product, which from a marketing stand point is what they want to do, but it just becomes a serious ethical issue since you’re advocating but you’re not really believing. Examples of the opposite would be Vivienne Westwood voicing her opinion on the Scottish Independence or Gaultier using Beth Ditto which is not model size for the runway (it was done once, obviously).

It makes a stir – whether it attracts the attention to the clothes or not is a different discussion, but when it comes to smaller designers and smaller fashion shows, it gives much more light to the issue. Fashion weeks are a very efficient tool which raise awareness and this is done often, so they fall under methods which have been tried and tested. Of course, fashion shows  can be criticized and heavily criticized, if the issues are unjust or the media is ignorant.

Either way, when it comes to the fashion show seen above, it portrays a very strong message following the classic display of a fashion show, specifically ending with a Bride in a wedding dress, only this time she has make-up to show the abused state. The ad brings awareness to the fact that very often there is abuse in marriages unfortunately and that it is specifically to marriages that society turns a blind eye on. The show packs a powerful final message, as the last model is always the most significant to the show, like the opener.

For the cause, and for the brand too

The whole show was done very well, portraying different women showing signs of abuse yet at the same time modeling the collection. The campaign points to what the actual attention should be drawn to, showing the purpose of speaking against injustice and from a brand marketing perspective, it is also very efficient to the designer as we all know we prefer brands and celebrities which speak out on what is wrong with the world and as they inform us of things we will not hear due to the screaming crowd, we learn more about important problems. All in all, the show portrayed everything needed and it did so in a big event as well, achieving the promotion of the issue and collection simultaneously. The Mozambique Fashion Week is a small scale event compared to its New York, Paris and London counterparts, but for Mozambique it is a big one, and while the coverage abroad was not as big,  what mattered to them was that the country saw it, and had a chance to put domestic violence in the spotlight.


Advertising Agency: DDB, Mozambique
Creative Director: André Coelho
Art Director: Ricardo Traquino
Copywriters: Carlos Osvaldo, Ricardo Traquino
Executive Producer: Vasco Rocha
Project Manager: Sónia Ferreira
Producer: Danial Valigy
Audio Producer: Saide Ali
Make up: Ivan Leonel, Maisa Chaves
Published: December 2014

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