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Dior Welcomes Young Female Students

As part of its yearlong mentorship program, the brand hosted a two-day conference in Paris

Dior is putting some muscle behind the feminist messages seen in designer Maria Grazia Chiuri’s recent collections. 

In Paris yesterday and today, the luxury French fashion house hosted 100 young women from around the world—all students within the realms of fashion, business, and engineering and participants in the brand’s yearlong mentorship program—and paired them up with 100 Dior employees, all under 30, who will act as mentors. 

The house noted that this is the first time it’s ever held an event of this nature, and that the two-day affair involved visits to Dior’s ready-to-wear and couture ateliers and archives, constructive workshops, and discussions with everyone from author and director Florence Sandis and inspirational speaker and “Chief Poetic Officer” Vincent Avanzi to Dior executives. The brand also invited Moroccan sculptor Anilore Banon to speak about her Vitae Project, an “art odyssey” that will send thousands of handprints to the moon.

“By promoting the transmission of knowledge and by sharing its vision of the evolution of women in the professional world and the society of the future, Christian Dior Couture has made the logical and necessary decision to accompany and foster the young talents by helping them discover our savoir-faire and our origins in order to better comprehend the challenges of tomorrow,” the house said in a statement.

Since Chiuri took over two years ago, she’s been committed to promoting feminism through her designs, despite the murkiness that comes along with commodifying a movement. Proceeds from the “We Should All Be Feminists” T-shirt from her Spring 2017 debut were donated to Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation, which supports education and health in impoverished communities. Her latest collection for Dior saw her use ’60s feminist protest imagery.

At a time when some designers aren’t always practicing what they’re preaching, it’s nice to see Chiuri turn her female-centric aesthetic into something that can truly impact the lives of young women.

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