How Brooklyn fashion designer Meghan Kinney is using her label to get out the vote

An independent womenswear boutique may not seem like an obvious political hub, but in the case of Meg, a Brooklyn-based women’s fashion line with boutiques in Manhattan and Brooklyn, this female-centric space has become a place to unify and make change.

“Everything starts from the election right?” says Meghan Kinney, founder of Meg.

That pivotal November night in 2016 changed America as a whole, but individuals throughout the nation have been politicizing their public and private lives ever since. Out of frustration over essentially everything that happened in 2017, Kinney led her business to become “much more involved in many feminist initiatives,” which really kicked off with sweatshirts Meg designed and sold for the first Women’s March, with proceeds donated to Planned Parenthood. That year, Meg raised $8,910 for Planned Parenthood of New York City through its FEMINIST pieces.

Back in New York, Kinney was still sensing “tons of outrage” in the specific type of “shared information of what happens in a boutique with women.”

That is, her client base of “very powerful, hard-working women” weren’t shy about sharing their opinions. Kinney wanted to turn her boutique into a place of proactive, positive work, in addition to a space for ranting. Meg’s newest fall collection is inspired by artist and feminist Georgia O’Keeffe, influenced by the reality that women will be heading to the polls in this line.

“It’s nice to have some frivolous fashion amongst some people doing great work,” Kinney says of dressing activists and everyday city women alike. Kinney herself is a fan of wearing jumpsuits on election days.

Earlier this year, the Women’s March launched its Power to the Polls campaign, an initiative to get out the vote. And Kinney was eager to get Meg involved.

“I really appreciated what [designer and Women’s March chair] Bob Bland was doing,” Kinney says. So she got in touch with the organizers, offering to dress them — a collaboration that is still in the works.

“An organizer needs to feel confident and comfortable to lead, which is why what they wear is important,” Kinney says. “Personally, and I would say this as a designer, clothing prepares you to meet your day with whatever it may throw at you and that balance between feeling like you look good and being comfortable is the utmost importance in my designs.”  

Before outfitting some of America’s most recognizable organizers, Kinney has pledged to partner with Power to the Polls in fundraising efforts and “supporting their mission in making sure more women of diverse ages and all backgrounds vote and seek leadership roles.”

Through the 2018 midterms, Kinney has been donating $10 monthly on behalf of each Meg employee.

“We encourage our community to donate as well, showing that there is power in numbers,” Kinney says. “Every dollar helps get the word out with the goal of more women heading to the polls on November 6th.”

Later this year, Meg is planning to launch a line of basic feminist gear — socks, hats, umbrellas, etc. — that will also have a donation component. “It’s fun and I appreciate a community of women that just want to wear our feelings on our chest,” Kinney says.