7 More Feminist Fashion Icons

2014 MTV Video Music Awards - Show

Stylish celebrity feminists are a lot more common than you would think. Our original post lists Keira Knightley and Janelle Monáe as proud feminists with head-turning wardrobes, here are seven more feminist style icons.



If you don’t want long curly hair and wine-stained lips, you’re doing it wrong. Not only is Lorde and amazing musician, she’s a die-hard feminist with a strong vision of her craft. She graced the cover of what is basically Canada’s Vogue, Fashion, before her 20th birthday, putting gender roles and double standards on full blast. Go Lorde, go!

KERRY WASHINGTONkerry-washington-printed-skirt-textured-black-t-shirt-h724

Does it really come as a surprise that Kerry Washington, the woman who plays Olivia Pope in Scandal is a feminist? The shows breaks records, being one of the most-watched shows ever to star a woman of colour as the lead actor. Washington looks sharp on and off the red carpet, is a super activist in her precious spare time (including charities like VDAY), and she’s been interviewed on Feministing, so ’nuff said.



Zoe Saldana has been lampooned by feminists and non-feminists alike for what may be considered some pretty naïve views on race, gender, and colorism, especially with regards to her role as Nina Simone in the eponymous movie, Nina. That being said, she is 100% girl power–every interview she does it seems she has something to say on the matter, whether it be Fashion or Flare.



Lily Allen seem so to have been on a journey in the last year in terms of her identification as a feminism and understanding of feminism, but she claims the label now and has said some pretty darn feminist things, so there’s that. Our hearts ache for her prom-dress-and- Nike-runners style from when she first came on the scene, but no one can deny her polished, Chanel-friendly looks are more than a little enviable.



It seems that if you’re in the limelight, you must be  a fashionable feminist–Zooey Deschanel, Zoe Saldana above, and here Zoe Kazan all identify as feminists! Kazan has made our site a few times for her feminist leanings, and with her filmmaking career continuing to rise (she wrote and starred in Ruby Sparks) we are always keen to hear more from her.



Sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg of the band First Aid Kit aren’t shy about their views on feminism, having made several appearances on Rookie alone. The amazing music and bohemian style have us crushin’ hard.



…needs no introduction.



Good Soles: Two Ethical Canadian Shoe Companies

Canadian fashion magazines have been taking note of Canadian shoe designers, in particular, companies whose mission is ethically-produced shoes. Here are a couple Canadian shoe designers who are stepping up to the plate.

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Above: Image found here.

The Company: Oliberté

The Founder(s): Tal Dehtiar

Where in Canada: Founder Dehtiar is based in Oakville, ONT.

Where in the World: Oliberté shoes for all genders are made in Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia

What’s special:  All of the shoes’ materials are purchased in Ethiopia, and every time an order ships, 5 percent of the shipment’s invoice amount is wired to an employee fair-trade committee bank account, which is run by the employees’ union and committee.

Quoted: “Over 60 percent of our workers are women, and most of [Oliberté's] employees have never had a job in their lives before this.”

Did you know?: Now that’s Canadian –the name of the company, “Oliberté” is a combination of “liberty” and the”O” in our anthem, “O Canada.”

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Above: Image found here.

The Company: Poppy Barley

The Founder(s): Kendall and Justine Barber (they’re sisters!)

Where in Canada: Edmonton, AB

Where in the World: León, Mexico

What’s special: The shoes are custom made for your exact size and specifications, and this business is owned and run by women!

Quoted: “The leather boots and shoes are sold at a price point Kendall says is ‘unheard of in the bespoke industry’ – costs vary by style, but flats start at $188 and boots at $450. This is even more noteworthy considering the line is made both ethically (“With fair wages and working conditions” notes Justine)” – from “The Shoe Fits!” by Heidi Sopinka in Flare September 2014

Did you know?: The Poppy Barley workshop is in León, Mexico, which is known for making cowboy boots!

Denim Feminism – Who Knew?

vintage-jeans Image above found here.

Wearing rubber gloves while holding up a rare pair of 701s [Levis jeans] from 1939, Downey [Lynn Downey, Levi's resident historian] explains the importance of the ranch experience for women’s liberation in the ’30s. The mere act of putting on a pair of jeans, she tells me, was “rebellious” in itself; at the time, denim was the domain of working-class men, not fancy upper-crust ladies.

She tells me about Pearl Baker, who ran a Utah ranch called Robbers Roost in the 1930s and was Downey’s pen pal until her death a few years ago. “In the ’30s, Baker wore men’s jeans to work on her ranch, and then she’d go into this funky little nowhere town and people would sneer at her for wearing them in public,” she says. “You were not going to walk down Park Avenue in jeans in 1934. But women who would come to a ranch like Rancho de Lost Caballeros knew they would knew they would not get sneered at.”

- from “Once Upon a Time in the West” by Tiyana Grulovic in Flare August 2014

Letter from the Editor: September 2014

Dear Closet Feminists,

….annnnnnd we’re back. Long time, no see, eh? I have been totally swamped at work lately, and haven’t had time to eat proper meals and clean my house, which sadly means making a proper September Issue for The Closet Feminist has come in last place for priorities. I would assume this is the plight of like, 90% of twenty-something Canadians though.


Above: Me taking a break from creeping around the cabins, hotels, and preserved old train cars at the 3 Valley Gap Ghost Town in Revelstoke. 

Since we last talked, I turned another whole year older–my birthday is at the end of August. To celebrate, I went on a trip with my tender young bride to Revelstoke, and we spent the weekend checking out The Enchanted Forest (totally worth it), and the Ghost Town at the Three Valley Gap (also totally worth it). I was devastated most of the trip though because it was pretty rainy, cold, and wet, and of course I didn’t pack properly at all so all the glamorous shots I hoped to get chillin’ amongst hand-painted figurines and settler cabins didn’t really happen. I had a grand time nonetheless.

Also a big deal–last weekend my sister got married! She looked beautiful, and I bawled my makeup off twice. Such wedding outfit anxiety for me, but it all panned out and the couple were incredibly happy which is really all that matters.

Can you believe this warm weather we are still enjoying here in Vancouver? I would complain that I want to wear my fall outfits, and don’t get me wrong, I do, but my garden is thoroughly enjoying the sunshine. I’ve got kale, I’ve got zucchinis the size of wine bottles, and my indoor herbs are doing quite nicely if I do say so myself. There is lots for me to be grateful for, that is for sure.

In style & in solidarity,

Emily Y.

Well Dressed, Well Read: Dawn Powell’s “The Bride’s House”

Anna sat in the storeroom shaking out old garments and trying on the less-worn ones. it was ridiculous, she thought, being Mrs. Truelove and having no more clothes than she had owned as Anna Stacey. She wanted rose-colored satins with trains and silver buttons and black velvet gowns with passementerie and gold lace.

Cecily said, “I am sending to the Columbus store for samples of dress goods. I think a brown broadcloth wold be nice for you and a good quality poplin for dress. Plum-color, say.”

“Yes,” said Anna, twisting her hands.

She wanted pink and baby blue in ruffles and lace with fancy braid, so she would look soft and smoothly feminine like Sophie Truelove. Then resentful tears came to her eyes, remembering that she had always wanted fluffy things and when she wore them people always laughed at her.

“Not your style, Anna,” Dora Hamilton used to chuckle. “You look just like a picked chicken.”

-from The Bride’s House by Dawn Powell

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