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With Big Donations and Simple T-Shirts, Fashion Rallies for Gun Control

Gucci just gave $500,000 to help the March for Our Lives protest.

A model walks down the runway wearing an embroidered coat. The set is a sterile, hospital-like space.
A model walks the runway at Gucci’s Milan Fashion Week show on February 21.
Pietro D’aprano/Getty Images

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Following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, students have become a major voice in the fight for gun control. Survivors of the February 14th shooting formed a group called March for Our Lives and are organizing a rally that will take place March 24th in Washington, DC, with sister protests planned around the country and abroad.

As of last Friday, the March for Our Lives team was expecting 500,000 attendees in the nation’s capital. That same day, it received a boost from one of the most popular fashion brands operating today: Gucci, which donated $500,000 to the cause. At a time when many designers attempt to air their support for political and social causes via slogan T-shirts — a tactic that, however well-intentioned, can come off as empty and superficial — Gucci’s straightforward approach (cold, hard cash) stands out.

WWD first reported the news of Gucci’s donation, which the brand, a rep confirmed to us this morning, has not mentioned on its own social media channels. Gucci’s Instagram, Facebook page, and Twitter account are filled with images of its runway show in Milan last week. Nothing about gun control in sight. Nary a press release from Kering, its parent company.

In the wake of the Parkland shooting, companies like MetLife, Delta, United, Hertz, and Enterprise have yielded to mounting consumer pressure and ended their discount programs for members of the National Rifle Association. But, as when some department stores dropped Ivanka Trump’s brand last year, those same corporations have faced a second wave of backlash for doing so. When brands take sides politically, it’s impossible not to alienate some shoppers.

This could explain why Gucci has been quiet about its donation on social media, though it has not been shy about sharing the news with fashion publications like WWD and Business of Fashion. Maybe execs simply don’t want to look like they’re capitalizing on the moment for good press.

Meanwhile, some consumers and activists are urging Amazon to stop streaming NRATV, with some people threatening to cancel their Prime memberships over the issue.

Gucci is not the only fashion player that has made its stance on gun control known. Everytown for Gun Safety founded a fashion council in September to encourage the design community to get involved in the fight against gun violence; founding members include Cynthia Rowley and Christian Siriano. In a Vogue video filmed at the fitting for Moschino’s Milan Fashion Week show last week, designer Jeremy Scott wore a white T-shirt with a piece of fabric reading “Demand Gun Control Now!” safety-pinned on the chest.

“My shirt today is inspired by Emma González from Florida and her very beautiful and heartfelt speech that she made after the shooting at her high school,” Scott explained. “The youth there that are speaking out are really going to be able to make a difference.”