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Walter Van Beirendonck’s Runway Against Racism

Walter Van Beirendonck makes a headdress against hate.

January 15, 2014

Belgian designer Walter Van Beirendonck is pretty much the senior professor of the world of men's fashion—he even trained a young Raf Simons as an intern in his studio—and his collections often read like theses for the political issues on his mind, whether it's gender inequality, climate change, LGBT rights or race. This season, it looks like he's as miffed about Chanel's recent appropriation of Native American garb and H&M's hipster headdress dust-up as activist groups are: at his runway show today in Paris, models walked out in mile-high crowns with "STOP RACISM" written across in red paint. As clear as daylight as that political message seemed to be, the rest of the collection was his typically beautiful mish-mash of hard-to-place influences. Club kids? Spandexed Jane Fonda aerobics? Gay soldiers? This is an academic treatise that might take some time to unpack, but if you want to do some background research, check out this amazing collection of vintage WvB over at the VFILES.

For more on Van Beirendonck, read our 2012 feature-length interview with the maestro.

Walter Van Beirendonck’s Runway Against Racism