At New York Fashion Week, womenswear brand Fe Noel teamed up with TIAA and The Martin Agency to debut “The Dre$$,” a one-of-a-kind couture gown stitched with artificial money to represent the potential $1.6 million dollars women lose out in retirement savings. While attributing the persistent gender wage gap as a major contributing factor for the retirement gap, the campaign utilizes fashion as a vehicle to spark conversation and awareness.
“I thought about what I wanted people to feel when they saw this dress. I wanted it to make people gasp and pause, the same way you would when you are reminded of the stark retirement gap between men and women,” fashion designer Fe Noel explained in a statement. “I knew I wanted this to be a couture gown. Each detail was thought through and intentional. It’s a structured gown with a solid foundation; the direction of the dollar bills is purposeful; the finishings and corset are all designed to convey strength and structure—something women exhibit. This dress is about laying a strong foundation and building on top of that. It represents women’s strength while also highlighting a very real problem in society.”