Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner Talk DACA, Immigrant Rights at New York Fashion Week
"Make it known that you support all undocumented Americans and their right to stay here," said Lena Dunham while accepting a Fashion Media Award for 'Lenny Letter.'
When Lena Dunham and her writing partner, Jenni Konner, found themselves in front of a fashion crowd on the stage at The Daily Front Row's Fashion Media Awards on Friday evening, the pair — known for a red-carpet style that is often characterized with modifiers like "quirky," "bright" or "fun" — took the opportunity to not only crack some jokes (very on-brand), but also to spread a message about immigrants, specifically touching on the Trump administration's recent declaration that former President Barack Obama's DACA program would meet its demise in six months' time.
“This is for sure the most attractive group we’ve ever spoken in front of,” said Konner, “We are proud members of the Writers Guild.” Joked Dunham, “This feels really different — it’s a real Hogwarts over there.”
Of course, a funny bit about Diane von Furstenberg, who presented the duo with their award for best digital destination for Lenny Letter, was also par for the course. "We can’t believe that Diane agreed to join us here today," added Dunham. "She’s done as much for women’s rights globally as she has for easy-access sex with her wrap dress. We just want to thank you so truly from the bottom of our hearts."
It was then that the pair dove headfirst into immigration issues. "I want to tell you a little story about my great-grandfather," said Dunham. "He was a Hungarian immigrant. He came to this country in the early 20th century, having come from poverty and discrimination, hoping to live the American dream." She continued, "He found it here in New York in the garment district, where he made his way up the ladder and finally started his own company."
Both went on to discuss the importance of the immigrants in the industry, name-dropping modern-day foreign-born masters like Oscar de la Renta, Monique Lhuillier, Prabal Gurung, Naeem Khan and even von Furstenberg, all of whom have thrived in the American fashion scene.
"So now it’s incumbent upon us to all take action to protect immigrants, especially undocumented Americans, not just for their sake, but for ours because they bring craft, passion and style to our lives," said Dunham.
The 31-year-old also provided a list of concrete actions "we can take now to help Americans who are at risk of deportation," including spreading the word of the DACA renewal date (Oct. 5), offering to pay a processing fee for someone in need ("it's about as much as your bra costs tonight") or organizing a protest.
"Make it known that you support all undocumented Americans and their right to stay here," she concluded.
Others receiving awards on Friday night, including InStyle editor-in-chief Laura Brown, who took home the best September issue prize, and Teen Vogue's Phillip Picardi, who was handed the award for media brand of the year, also made brief, somewhat vague mentions of the unique political times in which we find ourselves.