Feminism is a word that is as multifaceted as it is malleable — to each individual, the word recounts a specific memory, feeling or ideology that aides in creating a specific definition uniquely important and impactful to them.
At its core, it's undeniable that feminism is about being multi-dimensional and non-conforming, a step away from the historically preposterous notion that women at every level of society are to fit into one specific role and box.
But who’s to say that a woman can’t be all of the things she wants to be, no matter how opposing or contradictory those roles or traits may appear to be?
Rebecca Minkoff certainly isn’t.
The namesake brand is in the depths of a rebranding, revealing its new ‘I Am Many’ brand identity which is set to be a direct representation of the tried-and-true multilayered Rebecca Minkoff consumer, something Minkoff herself is set to show the world:
“Women have really been marketed to to be one thing —be brave, be bold, be ambitious. And I think that as a brand we feel like that’s not authentic, that there’s beauty in exploring and amplifying all the different parts of a woman, all of her dimensions.”
Be the journalist or be the talent; be the model or be behind the camera — choose one because you’re only permitted to have one identity.
This is both the deliberate and subliminal messaging that’s been shoved down womens’ throats since early age all the way through their educational and professional pursuits, often leaving women to not pursue passion projects or side talents because they are unaligned with the role each individual woman has traditionally been conditioned to fill:
“I think there’s systemic things that we’ve been being messaged to since we were little. It’s your typical stories of just being shown that the princess should marry her prince, or if you’re smart. you’re a nerd. I think as we grow up with this type of messaging, we learn that we should just be one or the other … but who’s to say you can’t choose both? Who’s to say you can’t be both? We should start changing that dialogue — especially with youth — to embrace both … just because you’re smart doesn’t mean you’re a nerd, just because you’re beautiful doesn’t mean that you’re vapid. I think it’s about changing a lot of those connections that people have put together for so long into something that’s not really about that.”
The ‘I Am Many’ rebranding is being rolled out as a series of 10, one-minute long videos featuring women from all walks and stages of their lives sharing their individual, significant stories about the impact and disruption they’re making in their respective fields, as Minkoff explained regarding the process of casting:
“Originally we had a list of 160 women that were on our wishlist and we really focused on who have we not heard of that is making an impact in areas that need to be highlighter?”
Minkoff found and chose the subjects for each video through friends, family, colleagues — anything you can think of.
One participant was even being chosen after responding via Direct Message to Minkoff’s Instagram story calling for women to message her regarding the project.
The videos are meant to be bold and empowering, sure, but they’re also raw and emotional — ironic that the digital content itself is able to serve as a symbol for what the brand at large aims (and succeeds) in representing.
Women in the video were dressed in Rebecca Minkoff’s Fall and/or Holiday/Resort Collections, further connecting the average consumer to Minkoff’s highly-coveted luxury brand.
Watch one of the videos here:
Minkoff says that the brand hopes to see “people being relieved and happy to see people like them that are young and full of life and doing things to change the system” but notes that the system — specifically the fashion industry — has a long way to go when it comes to changing its ways:
“It’s changing, but it’s not changing fast enough … the fact that we’re still talking about diversity on the runway, to me, is an embarrassment … more people are becoming aware of it but it needs to happen much quicker than it does now.”
Diversity, to Minkoff, is almost an innate part of our society, it's simply who we are — no two women are the same, and that in and of itself is diversity.
So, then, why are we still talking about diversity (within the fashion industry, specifically) as if it’s some novel concept, something that designers and brands alike should be applauded for addressing and representing when it should be a no-brainer?
Minkoff certainly doesn’t understand, exclaiming "Can we please move a little faster!" when speaking to the slow-crawl towards diverse representation and acceptance within the fashion industry.
Of course, talk of women in the spotlight begs the question of how the fashion world has been affected by #MeToo, something that Minkoff hopes is subliminally addressed by the ‘I Am Many’ rebranding:
“I think it’s key that the outcome of the #MeToo moment is a ‘no tolerance’ policy and I think by showcasing women being stronger and promoting female strength, the ‘no tolerance’ policy will be the norm.”
Minkoff adds (with a laugh) that she hopes the resolve of the movement is also “men running in fear,” a joke that invokes a bold yet comical visual.
Perhaps the best part of the entire 'I Am Many' movement is the irony in how the Rebecca Minkoff brand at large is completely aligned with, and representative of, what the ‘I Am Many’ message really represents at its core.
The Rebecca Minkoff brand is a trailblazer, an industry leader in the world of fashion that is often thought to be vapid and surface-level — the company’s messaging is inspiring as it is factual, as head-in-the-clouds, big-time dreamer as it is realistic and business-oriented.
So who is Rebecca Minkoff, the person, herself? If you ask her, she’ll tell you she’s "fearless and funny."
But if you ask us, we’d tell you she’s so much more than just that.