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Ashley B. Chew carrying a “Black Models Matter” bag. 

The model customized the bag herself and hoped to get attention for the Black Lives Matter movement. "Diversity in the fashion industry is very frustrating at times but it is getting better with some designers,“ she told The Huffington Post. “As a black model and fine artist it is disappointing sometimes to walk into a casting and seeing later in runways they didn’t cast a model of color.” She paired the bag with a tank top she designed herself in the style of a Pantone swatch with “Blackness 100%” on it.  Photo: @ash_chew/Instagram

"Black Lives Matter" & "Radical Feminist": Street Style Makes Literal Statements at NYFW

Lauren Tuck
News Editor

Sure, New York Fashion Week is supposed to be all about the clothes coming down the runways, but it’s the outfits outside that are really making a statement — literally. The peacocks are particularly plumy for the Spring 2016 shows, with street stylers not just attempting to grab attention through mismatching patterns and colors, excessive layers, unseasonal fabrics, and the latest “It” item (hello, furry Gucci loafers!), but with word loudly and clearly marked: take a picture of me and, for some, spread my message. 

Standing out from the well-dressed crowd takes months of shopping and planning, but Ashley B. Chew did just that. Chew, an artist and model who recently walked in the Alta Moda show, carried a black bag which she wrote “Black Models Matter” on in white paint. From Shiona Turini in a “Black Lives Matter” track jacket and Hanne Gaby Odiele’s gray sweater with feminist patches, sometimes an article of clothing is so much more than just that. 

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