French fashion designers stand united for Charlie Hebdo
"Freedom of expression is sacred. Stand united!" François-Henri Pinault, the chairman and CEO of French fashion conglomerate Kering said on social media this week as the #JeSuisCharlie slogan sweeps the web – with designers from a range of major French houses following alongside him.
Dior Homme's creative director Kris Van Assche told WWD, "Freedom of expression is a core value of our civilisation and is central to any kind of creation, from comics to fashion," adding that,"Beyond the horror and the shock of the dreadful news, freedom is at stake. As a citizen, as well as a creative director, I shall stand for it."
Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci was also among thousands who posted the famed Voltaire quote, "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." While Jean Paul Gaultier stood with his staff on the steps of his atelier to display 'Je Suis Charlie' signs in monochromatic solidarity.
Creative director of Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld said, "It's horrible. I've been physically sick since Wednesday," adding "I think it's very bad for the image of Paris, though I'm very much against French bashing... They were very gifted people they killed. Cabu (Jean Cabut, one of the cartoonists killed in the attack), he was incredible."
Meanwhile, Balmain's Olivier Rousteing was left shocked and confused at the current situation engulfing his motherland, "As a French person, I was not expecting this in my country," Rousteing told WWD. "It's a really scary situation. I would never want to see my country divided by extremism. Today, there are some fears and a lot of sadness, but at the same time this tragedy has united people around the importance of being able to express yourself freely. I'm a French citizen. I love my country, and I never would want to see my countrymen afraid to express themselves. I am proud to see my fellow citizens affirm this basic right and happy to join with them.