Friday, September 7, 2012
In private, hush hush, quietly, at VIP parties, professionals in the New York fashion industry, from designers, to models, makeup artists, photographers will tell you how much they would love to see Indian Point closed. But when it comes to putting their money where their mouth is, actually do something about it, they scurry like little scared animals.
Yes, there's a few like Kenneth Cole and Donna Karan, who behind the scenes support Riverkeeper events at ABC Home on Broadway. But ask them to go on the record, and they run the other way, don't return phone calls, ignore anti-nuclear activists like the plague. So why is that?
The reason is the unions. The entire garment district in New York walks to the beat of unionists, who drive the trucks, load the dresses, wire the lights, build the sets on the catwalk, load and unload the ships at the dock, deliver the goods. Upset the apple cart, and your fashion house could easily go belly up, with unexplained delays, mysteriously damaged or lost shipments, the works!
Threaten the jobs of unionists at Indian Point, and you threaten the jobs of all unionists, who work in cahoot like an ant hill, supporting each other like legs of the same table. So fashion stars who easily lend their name to Sean & Yoko's Artists Against Fracking, stay away from Indian Point, and No Nukes, because of the possible repercussions.
In New York, fashion trumps politics. Influential fashion houses have more leverage with elected officials than any other group of professionals. New York is the fashion and media capital of the world. But that relationship is fragile, precarious, and there are taboo subjects. While Riverkeeper and the Governor tirelessly advocate the immediate shut down of Indian Point, New York's number one most powerful industry, keeps silent, for fear their entire delivery system gets disrupted, costing them millions.
A strong coalition of top fashion professionals in Manhattan could shut down Indian Point tomorrow, it would be a slam dunk, but they lack the courage. Anna Wintour doesn't dare for it might jeopardize Fashion Week or Fashion Night Out. Presidents of modeling agencies like Faith Kates, who raise millions for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, ignore what is probably the number one cause of soft tissue cancer in New York's 19th congressional district, Indian Point!
Make a point next time you walk into a fashion boutique, a beauty supply store, write a letter to the editor of ELLE or Vogue. Ask them why they ignore the issue of nuclear power, why they skim over the horrors of Fukushima, why they won't use their resources and visuals to support anti-nuclear activists? Ask them why they side with the Unions who are only protecting 1200 jobs that threaten the lives of 20 million people?
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(image: Fashion Poland magazine)