Christian Siriano, Nicky Hilton and More Weigh In on Nike’s Colin Kaepernick Ad
"I love that even with everything he's going through, he's still sticking by everything that he believes in," model Winnie Harlow told The Hollywood Reporter. "It's so powerful."
After Nike named activist Colin Kaepernick the face of its 30th anniversary Just Do It campaign, the Internet exploded with passionate responses. Many athletes praised the apparel giant for its bold move, while President Donald Trump blasted the company for giving Kaepernick a new platform. Now, the fashion community is weighing in.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter's Evan Real on the red carpet at the Harper’s Bazaar Icons New York Fashion Week event, models and designers shared their thoughts on the controversy surrounding Nike's campaign with Kaepernick.
"I'm getting on one knee. It's amazing," said Winnie Harlow, who, despite wearing a floor-length gown, took a knee on the carpet in support of Kaepernick. "I think that you should stand for whatever you believe in and don't let anyone deter you from that. I love that even with everything he's going through, he's still sticking by everything that he believes in. It's so powerful."
Nike's ad features a close-up of Kaepernick's face with the words: "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything." The former 49ers quarterback is currently suing the NFL, accusing the 32 owners of collusion to keep him off a team after he began kneeling during the National Anthem, his silent way of protesting police brutality against people of color in the U.S.
Designer Christian Siriano — whose inclusive approach to fashion has made him a favorite among A-listers, from Kelly Clarkson to Cardi B — said that most brands are "figuring out what works for them" in 2018's divisive political climate. Never one to shy away from politics, Siriano publicly endorsed Cynthia Nixon for Governor of New York at his show Saturday, and likes the idea of championing people "who are doing cool things in the world."
However, socialite-turned-designer Nicky Hilton doesn't seem to think that politics have a place in fashion advertising. "I've always been taught by my grandfather you don't talk about money, politics or religion at the dinner table," she said. "So, I don't know. I mean, to each his own."
But Victoria's Secret stunner and Model Squad star Daniela Braga said it's important for both brands and individuals to speak up for what they believe in.
"I think if you don't agree with something, if you don't like something, you've got to tell them because otherwise, no one will ever know," she told THR. "I always stand up for myself when I think something is wrong. So, if you think something is wrong and you don't agree, you've got to say it."
The Icons event was presented by Estee Lauder, Infor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Fujifilm Instax, Genesis and Stella Artois.