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Emma Watson calls out sexism in the fashion industry

Emma Watson calls out sexism in the fashion industry

Emma Watson, incredible human, U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador and smartest witch we've ever known, has spoken out against the insipid sexism in fashion.

Looking in from the outside, fashion may appear a liberally minded industry that's strongly associated with powerful women, but behind the scenes, the people making and selling our clothes face the same gender inequities as every other workplace.

Watson, star ambassador for the [#]HeForShe[/#] gender equality movement, turns the spotlight on the issue in a video made in partnership with British Vogue.
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"I want to get this conversation, this dialogue, happening specifically within the fashion industry, to ask the leading voices about gender equality," Watson tells the camera, calling on some prominent British designers to support the cause.

Stella McCartney comments on maternity and paternity leave, as well as gender parity in childcare. Erdem Moralioglu discusses how growing up with a twin sister shaped his feminism. And Bella Freud discusses equal pay.

The sexism underpinning the fashion industry is subtle and so ingrained it tends to be overlooked. As designer Jonathan Saunders admits, "It's very easy to slip into the mind-set where you feel like you're working in a very liberal environment where men and women are treated equally, where there doesn't seem to be any kind of gender preferential treatment. So it's easy to kind of neglect it being an issue." He goes on to mention the need for fashion-world imagery to empower women, "as opposed to making them look weaker and more fragile."

Watson adds, "I'd really, really love to see a more diverse representation of women and men in any way that makes them feel empowered."

Fashion remains predominantly a man's world. Women are underrepresented – on both a head creative and executive level – and the industry makes no effort to hide the fact that it favours boy 'wunderkinds' over young female talent.

Of course, it'll take much more than a glossy four-minute video to bring about real change, but good on these guys for jump-starting the conversation.

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