Cover Fala Chen, one of the 14 women part of the Crossroads project from Giorgio Armani (Photo: Courtesy of Giorgio Armani)

Here are the fashion brands making a stand to support women empowerment

Various fashion brands have a history of uplifting women to express themselves freely and confidently whether it's through campaigns, collections or initiatives. They've taken opportunities to give a voice for women to celebrate their individuality and potential. Here, we put the spotlight on women who are supporting women empowerment.

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Giorgio Armani

The Giorgio Armani's latest project to highlight the voice and stories of women is Crossroads, where the fashion brand invited 14 independent, strong and elegant women to tell their personal stories, focusing on a key moment in their lives when they stood at a crossroads, with different paths open to them. Called Crossroads for this reason, the project acknowledges that we, in general, are often faced with having to make decisions that will have a profound effect on our futures.

All the women part of the project have each been interviewed in a different city. They are a group of storytellers that represent different social and geographical origins, professions and outlooks. What these women have in common though is that they all faced a deeply personal symbolic "crossroads" and have taken decisions that helped them grow and develop. In many cases, this critical moment has led to increased ethical commitment and in all cases, it has been a statement of personal affirmation.

The protagonists are special individuals who talk about their experiences in a candid, unfiltered manner. Their stories are ones of courage and foresight, of overcoming perceived limitations and social conventions and of pursuing their dreams. For Hong Kong, multilingual actress Fala Chen is the star. Chen performs on TV, film and theatre. For China, well-known Chinese actress, Tong Yao is the star. She was honoured best actress at the 13th Golden Eagle Awards and is known for her efforts to support the empowerment of women.

The remaining 12 women include Raya Abirached, a Lebanese TV personality; Chiara Barzini, a Italian award-winning screen and fiction writer; Susan Carland, an Australian academic who is an expert on Islamic culture in relation to women, author and TV presenter; Misty Copeland, an American ballet dancer who made history by becoming the first African-American female principal dancer at the prestigious American Ballet Theatre; Sibel Kekilli, a German actor who's been fighting for women's rights and many others.

You can watch Crossroads on Giorgio Armani's social media channels. For more information and to see the full list of featured personalities, please visit the official website.

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Manu Atelier

Inspired by German feminist photographer Marianne Wex and her photographic project, Let's Take Back Our Space, this Manu Atelier x Harley Weir Autumn/Winter 2021 campaign embodies liberation and the embrace of female individuality through body movement and the vivid expression of raw feelings. It puts body language in the limelight, acting as a mirror of people's emotions which enables the expression of someone's true self. The dynamic postures in this campaign are seen as a revolt of society's stereotypes on women's expected behaviours, showing that women should be able to sit, walk, talk, dress and act as they want to and without any filter.

This also marks the first time that Manu Atelier created their own clothes all handmade exclusively for this campaign. An up-cycling wardrobe made from delicate hand braised crochet and off-cut leather pieces. The brand also partnered with sustainable designer Lou de Betoly who is known for her bold recycled fashion pieces to create some of the crochet garments.

This campaign symbolises a platform to embrace female power by championing her individuality. Brand founders and sisters, Merve and Beste Manastir started this campaign to raise a voice in this cluttered society by embracing and supporting women to be themselves as well as to free themselves from the diktats of today's society.

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