Smashing PR

14 September 2018 | Kate Owens

So, this week, our very own luxury British department store, Harvey Nichols, has rebranded, under the unassuming name ‘Holly Nichols’ to celebrate the centenary of women’s voting rights in the UK.

That’s right, girls, it’s been a hundred years since we were given the vote. And to stay in-tune with the Suffragette movement, Holly Nic’s organised the great-granddaughter of the one and only Emmeline Pankhurst, Helen Pankhurst, to get in on the celebration by smashing up a display window of the department store.

A bit extreme?

Abso-bloody-lutely not, the smashing of windows signified the acts that were carried out in the suffragette movement, where many protesters smashed windows across London, and indeed, some of those windows were at the front of Harvey Nichols. Helen Pankhurst expressed that “100 years ago, my great-grandmother Emmeline rallied women across London to use ‘deeds not words’ to raise awareness of the inequalities women faced”.

And it’s from those “deeds” and “not words” that we women, were finally awarded the vote. Now I could go down the line and start reeling off why women are still faced with lots of inequality today, and this could lead me to discuss the #MeToo movement, but – I think perhaps, not today. Today, I will not digress too much.

So back to the main event – what has pushed Harvey Nichols to the change of name and smashing of windows? Well I can tell you it is not only Harvey Nic’s, as Harrods and Fortnum & Mason have all joined forces together and each department store will feature the shattered-glass effects that will pay tribute to the 1912 street protests.

But who’s behind this empowering campaign? Well, in partnership with the Mayor of London’s #BehindEveryGreatCity is the British Fashion Council, which it seems is fit as London Fashion Week began today, and will run into next week.

And what a fabulous campaign it is, it’s so easy for us to forget what our ancestors did for us. But it’s important not to forget what women did not once have and what the women before us fought for, but also not to take for granted the opportunities we have now, and in some cases the opportunities we are still fighting for.*

(*Digressed slightly – apologies)