An Irish fashion designer took over a shop window in London’s high-end Selfridges’ department store to protest Ireland’s 8th Amendment, which prohibits abortion, in support of the referendum vote scheduled to take place on May 25 on whether to repeal the amendment.
Richard Malone, a County Wexford native known for his eco-conscious designs and who has been written up by the likes of Vogue and the Museum of Modern Art, was set to hold a 24-hour pop-up window in the Oxford Street store in April describing his own personal definition of luxury as part of Selfridges’ “Anatomy of Luxury” campaign, curated by London-based designer Gareth Pugh.
But, on the day of the installation and wearing a “Read React REPEAL” T-shirt, the 26-year-old designer turned the window into a guerilla campaign in favor of overturning the amendment, writing pro-choice messages and language across the window in red, including “Women’s Rights = Human Rights,” “POWER,” and “Repeal the Eighth” Speaking with the Irish Times, Malone said that the store was unaware of his plan and allowed the window to continue as planned only after he removed the “repeal” slogan from the window. “I am really happy that I had the support from the crowd and were it not for the support of Gareth Pugh and his partner, who curated the whole event, they would have cancelled the whole thing.”
In a joint statement to the Irish Times, Pugh and Selfridges said the store “is a politically neutral safe space for everyone, and it’s regrettable that a platform for celebrated creative talent was commandeered in this manner.”
The window was removed as scheduled following the temporary campaign. ♦