Gucci makes political statement on abortion with latest fashion collection
The right for women to seek an abortion has been a constitutional right for 46 years, but you wouldn't know it by looking at some red states in America.
Recently Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Georgia, Iowa, and North Dakota passed so-called "heartbeat bills," forbidding abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat. That typically occurs six weeks into a pregnancy, when the embryo is the size of a pea and many women don't know they are pregnant yet. (Also, as an OB-GYN explained to The Cut, the "heartbeat" is actually electrical cardiac activity, not a heartbeat, as embryos don't have hearts.)
The controversial laws sparked widespread outrage, especially Alabama's House Bill 314, which was passed by 25 white Republican men, and punishes doctors who perform abortions with up to 99 years in prison, with no exceptions in cases of rape or incest. When 73-year-old state Republican governor Kay Ivey signed the bill, she admitted it was designed to be unconstitutional in order to compel the Supreme Court to revisit Roe v. Wade.
In the landmark 1973 decision, the justice ruled that the Constitution's "right to privacy" protects women's right to seek abortions, therefore states may not place an "undue burden" on them. These extremist heartbeat" bills - or rather, "cardiac activity" bills - appear to be quite burdensome for women. As a result, celebrities pledged not to shoot projects in Georgia, Twitter users bravely shared why they had an abortion, and thousands of women across the country marched to condemn the laws. Some protesters even sported costumes from The Handmaid's Tale, a dystopian drama about a patriarchal, misogynistic society.
Italian luxury band Gucci joined the fray by making a political statement on abortion with their 2020 cruise collection. Models strutted down the runway rocking three pro-choice pieces: a purple jacket emblazoned with the 70's feminist slogan 'My Body My Choice;' a pleated long sleeve gown featuring an embroidered uterus; and a jacket promoting the numbers 22.05.1978, aka May 22, 1978. As the brand noted on Instagram, that refers to the passage of "the Italian statute for the social protection of motherhood and the voluntary interruption of pregnancy, better known as statute 194."
The collection was shown to a VIP crowd in Rome’s Capitoline Museum on Tuesday night. "Sometimes in life choices are difficult, but I believe that it is the most difficult decision for a woman," Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele told The Associated Press after the show. "I respect that decision. I respect that decision as I respect the idea that the uterus is a garden. I wanted to portray the idea that to interrupt a pregnancy does not wipe out the garden, the flower, that is the uterus of every woman."
Earlier this year, Gucci sparked a social media backlash when they launched a balaclava that appeared to resemble blackface. The brand quickly removed the product from their stores and issued a statement: "Gucci deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper.... We are fully committed to increasing diversity throughout our organization and turning this incident into a powerful learning moment for the Gucci team and beyond."