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Late last week, after news broke that Stephen Ross, billionaire chairman of The Related Companies, would be throwing a fundraiser to help fund the re-election of President Donald Trump, much of the internet, for lack of a better term, snapped.
When it was revealed that The Related Companies owned Equinox, Soul Cycle, and a host of other properties, people immediately called for boycotts of the brands. And upon learning that Ross and Related were behind New York City’s Hudson Yards, a new $25 billion project where many fashion shows are rumored to be taking place this upcoming New York Fashion Week season, the notoriously liberal fashion industry got involved.
“This is no longer about party lines, especially now with all the mass murders at the hands of domestic terrorists and white supremacists. Rather, this is a choice that one needs to make now. This is about choosing between two sides, the right or the wrong sides of the history. I am not calling this out to be part of the cancel culture or start some tirade against people, but rather to question these individuals whose motivation seems to be nothing but $$ and to also challenge our own integrity and choices that we make everyday. My goal here is to start a dialogue and maybe, hopefully, change some minds.I was previously in conversation with Hudson Yards’ The Vessel as the venue for my brand’s upcoming 10 year show during NYFW. When I heard about this fundraiser, I chose to pull my participation.”
In a Business of Fashion op-ed written by Out magazine’s Phill Picardi, Picardi wrote that Ross’ wife, Kara Ross, is currently a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Late Friday night, Fallon jewelry designer Dana Lorenz withdrew her membership from the CFDA.
In a post on Instagram, Lorenz wrote, “I regretfully, but with great certainty, cancel my membership to the Council of Fashion Designers of America. After many years of membership I will no longer participate if a woman that funds the current administration remains on the board.”
Who will be next? With New York Fashion Week set to start on September 5, all eyes will be on how the industry moves forward in light of this news.