While the fashion world has been eagerly eying Gucci’s spring/summer campaign, the Italian fashion giant has been busy cooking up a new campaign off the catwalk.
The luxury brand has teamed up with Beyoncé and Salma Hayek (wife of François-Henri Pinault, chairman Gucci’s parent company PPR) to establish a new ‘movement’ for female empowerment: Chime for Change, launched at the TEDxWomen luncheon in California on Thursday.
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Chime for Change hopes to “convene, unite and strengthen voices speaking out for girls and women” and will divide its focus into three areas: education, health and justice. The campaign hopes to focus on the stories of already inspirational figures working towards these goals. Hayek presented a short film at the luncheon that she narrates, with music by Beyoncé and clips featuring Malala Yousafzai and Hillary Clinton. The Mexican-American star will also head up a film unit creating ten short films about inspirational female figures.
Gucci’s move to align itself with a social cause is not unusual for the fashion house, which has previously worked with UNICEF. The launch comes at a time when women’s rights have dominated news stories worldwide, from the Delhi gang rape in India, to the issue of girls education in Pakistan and abortion rights in the U.S.
In a statement for the campaign, Pinault said, “I am convinced that across the planet, women are at the heart of the equilibrium of our communities. There is a need to transform words into action and find new ways to enbable and empower girls and women.”
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The movement already boasts an impressive cast: its advisory board is comprised of serious figures from the world of politics and celebrity, including the likes of Meryl Streep, Archbiship Desmond Tutu, Mexican journalist and human rights activist Lydia Cacho and former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
With a manifesto that makes lofty statements about female empowerment, the group is hoping to do more than just create awareness. It’s teamed up with a crowdfunding site backed by the Gates Foundation, Catapult, which will enable those interested to fund projects for girls and women across the three themes of health, education and justice.
Beyoncé, who “chimes for health,” said of the project that “girls have to be taught from early on that they are strong and capable of being anything they want to be.” The campaign has revealed few details about their plans so far, but it has promised a global event in mid-March which it says will “pull put girls’ and women’s issues on the world’s stage.”