These are troubling times for women, with a president who has bragged about groping women and Supreme Court confirmations sullied by accusations of sexual assault. Even still, women often feel like they can’t express their anger because they will be treated as hysterical and weak. Perhaps that’s why this “Give a Damn” tote, a collaboration between by two fashion labels–MZ Wallace and Lingua Franca–already had a wait list of hundreds, even before it dropped today.
The phrase is risqué and assertive, helping women express through an accessory things they may not always be able to say in polite company: That people should care about what’s happening in politics right now, and try their best to change it. “We originally came up with the words, ‘Give a shit,’ says Lucy Wallace Eustice, MZ Wallace’s cofounder. “It was about expressing how we feel about the current moment, and encouraging women to get involved, in any way they choose.” (Eustice says they replaced the s-word with “damn” for the many moms who might want something a little more PG-13.)
These brands aren’t pushing a specific political agenda, but all the proceeds from the $235 bag will go to She Should Run, a bipartisan organization that encourages women to run for political office.
Eustice thinks the success of the bag comes down to its ability to balance subtlety with fierceness. The phrase is scrawled on one of the brand’s most iconic bags, the Metro Tote, designed to be eminently pragmatic with its lightweight, stain-resistant fabric. “We obsessed with designing products that really fit into women’s lives,” says Eustice. “So with this partnership, we wanted to make something that women would actually use.”
Turns out, the brand knows women pretty damn well.