We’d been wondering whether Occupy Wall Street would try to make a statement during Fashion Week, and it turns out they’ve had something planned for the last day of shows all along. OWS organizers plan to march on the first of this afternoon’s two Calvin Klein‘s runway presentations, and they’re going to set up a makeup booth when they get there.
Gawker reports that OWS marchers will leave Zucotti Park and march to the West 39th Street venue where Calvin Klein designer Francisco Costa will stage the first of his two shows at 2 pm. Their plan, according to organizer Justin Stone-Diaz, is to convince 99 of the few hundred people arriving outside the show space to put on dripping red eye makeup to give the appearance that they’ve just been pepper sprayed. Stone-Diaz told Gawker that the 99 figure is representative of the 99 percent, and that the eye makeup tactic will show solidarity with the University of California at Davis students who were drenched in pepper spray during their Occupy protest last year.
If OWS organizers can’t get 99 people to wear the makeup, Stone-Diaz says things are going to get uncomfortable during the second presentation, which starts at 3 pm. Another organization, the Queer Transgender Direct Action group, will be in place to make sure the show doesn’t happen at all.
Our prediction? Things are going to get real ugly round about 3 pm. There’s nothing that the fashion industry loves more than a worthy cause, and there’s no shortage of people who work in the industry who can relate to wage inequality, paying taxes out the nose and having to watch longingly as some people get rich and others toil and toil to make ends meet. But the Calvin Klein show — and in fact most shows presented during Fashion Week — is an opportunity to see American design talent at its very best, and we don’t think anyone who was lucky enough to get on the list for the show would dare do anything to disrupt it, no matter what their economic circumstances are. (Still, we have to acknowledge that shutting down a show would be a difficult thing to do without a little help from the inside, so we wonder if maybe they’ve already gotten people to agree to participate?)
Whether they do or not, OWS is essentially saying, Hey, you know this incredible show you’re about to see that only a few people get to attend? Wanna protest everything it stands for with us?! But Stone-Diaz is optimistic that those who are really feeling the strain will take this special fashion moment to make a social statement.
“As occupiers, we don’t really understand that world the way the people in the fashion industry do,” Stone-Diaz said. “We know there are people in the fashion world who are going through the same problems we are. A lot of our friends in fashion don’t have health insurance, they’re working in weird situations.”
You know what else is a weird situation? This protest. There’s more information about the protest here.
UPDATE: The Calvin Klein PR people are already playing offense against the OWS protesters. They’ve just asked the show’s invited guests to bring email confirmation and provide photo ID for access to the show.
As a reminder, you are confirmed to attend the Calvin Klein Collection Fall 2012 Women’s show today at 2PM. We have been made aware that the Occupy Wall Street movement has plans to stage a non-violent demonstration in the vicinity of our show. Please note that we have taken extra security efforts to ensure the safety of our guests and that the entrance process into our venue is as seamless as usual. In light of this, all guests will be required to show email verification of a seat assignment and a form of photo identification. Please bring both with you this afternoon.