American Flag Fashion on the Runway, As Seen By Designers

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Editor’s Note: This story has been edited since it was first published on September 8, 2021.

What’s more American than apple pie? Old Glory. Boasting 13 red and white stripes and 50 stars on a blue ground, the United States flag is a powerful symbol, used to express patriotism and sometimes protest.

Fashion designers have used it in both these ways. The flag has long been part of the design vocabulary of “all-American” designers like Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger, both proponents of the preppy, Ivy League look. When the Belgian designer Raf Simons joined Calvin Klein, he looked at Americana with an outsider’s eye, and incorporated traditional quilt patterns and the work of Andy Warhol in his collections, one of which featured a skirt made of an American flag. Pyer Moss’s Kerby Jean-Raymond uses his collections as platforms to examine the Black experience in the United States. His fall 2021 couture collection included a look that referenced the red, black, and green African-American flag designed by the artist David Hammons.

Below, a look back at the ways designers from all over the world have flown the U.S. flag in style.

Christian Dior, pre-fall 2024

Photo: Daniele Oberrauch / Gorunway.com

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