One of the most interesting new labels at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia wasn’t by a TAFE grad or the next Dion Lee. It was “Start the Riot,” a line of T-shirts by model Ollie Henderson emblazoned with slogans such as “Reject Racism,” “Welfare Over Wealth” and “Sexism Sucks.”
The local lady and NYC-based model had 100 shirts printed before runway shows kicked off and probably caused a few head-turns as her model friends started popping up on Getty and street style blogs wearing them. “The basic premise is to encourage young people to become politically aware and involved,” Henderson told Style.com at the time. “There’s a lot going on in Australia that I don’t agree with. I was tired of the government making decisions on my behalf, and I just felt like I had to do this.”
But apparently the political activism movement, like crop-tops and normcore, is a movement that knows no geographical boundaries. Henderson is now taking the riot to the streets of NYC, finding stockists for the shirts in Nolita's B Space and Patricia Field’s Bowery boutique. She posted the evidencing Instagram shots last week, which included Field herself and two of the less Australian-specific political tag lines – “Riot Now” and “Reject Racism.” The “brand” even has its own Instagram account if you prefer to take your activism neat rather than interspersed with selfies.
While some of the shirts probably had to be left out of the latest printing process – including our personal favorite, “Keep Tassie’s Bush/I Keep Mine” – raising general awareness of more global issues can’t hurt. Our personal styling tip would be putting an “I Am a Feminist” design on each of your guy friends.