If you look around, a lot of creative professions are dominated by men, and design is no exception. That said, it’s strange when fashion schools filled with mostly women filter into an industry crowded with mostly men, or when mostly men are telling women what to wear and how to express themselves. There are ways to combat this situation—by being mindful and inclusive, for example—but design itself can serve as a platform more active feminism. The very process of creating items of self-expression plays a role in the identity of both the artist and the consumer.
Such was the conversation at Slow Factory in Brooklyn, New York, recently. An AIGA/ NY panel, titled Redesigning Feminism, gathered Laura Wass, the founder of WXYZ jewelry, JiaJia Fey, the digital director of the Jewish Museum, Céline Semman Vernon, a designer and the founder of the Slow Factory, and Hala Abdel Malak, a designer and professor at Parsons School of Design, to discuss these issues with moderator Kevin Allred, who apologized profusely for being a man in such a charged, feminist space. Here’s what we learned over the course of the evening.