GmbH Sends Powerful Message for Peace in Palestine at Paris Men's Fashion Week
In a poignant conclusion to Paris Men's Fashion Week, designers Serhat Işık and Benjamin Huseby of GmbH delivered a powerful message for peace in Palestine. The duo utilized their platform not only to showcase their AW24 men's collection but also to make a fervent plea for a ceasefire and peace in the Middle East.
Almost two years ago, the fashion industry responded with solidarity as violence erupted in Ukraine during Milan Fashion Week AW22. Designers expressed support, canceled events, and toned down shows to acknowledge the severity of the situation. Fast forward to 2024, with the ongoing conflict in Palestine, and the response from the fashion world has been notably subdued.
One exception to this silence was GmbH, whose designers, draped in Palestinian Keffiyeh scarves, took center stage to address the urgent need for peace. Both second-generation immigrants, Işık and Huseby, read from a set of notes, emphasizing the necessity of precision in words during these dangerous times.
GmbH's collection itself echoed the political charge, featuring reworked Keffiyeh designs in the colors of the Palestinian flag and symbolic prints, including a dripping watermelon—a subtle yet powerful emblem of Palestine. The designers addressed the parallel rise of Antisemitism globally and called attention to the distraction tactics used to divert focus from critical issues.
The emotional resonance extended beyond the runway, with a diverse cast reflecting the designers' lived experiences. Dilara Findikoglu and Edward Buchanan, among others, added their voices to the statement through fashion.
As Huseby broke down into tears at the end of their speech, GmbH made clear their demands for a ceasefire, release of hostages, a free Palestine, and an end to occupation—a stance they believe should be uncontroversial.
The collection and the designers' impassioned plea serve as a reminder of fashion's potential to be a medium for social and political discourse, especially in times when silence is not an option.