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Style Icons Rallying for Civil Rights

  • Najib Benouar

The civil rights movement was born out of an ugly time in US history, but we’ll be damned if it didn’t make for some good-looking protesters.

With the always-impeccable Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. leading the way, a sea of crisp suits, skinny ties and Wayfarers led our country into equality. In honor of the great man and movement, we dug through the archives and were surprised to find a handsome lot of style icons also heading up the charge for civil rights—a veritable who’s who of impossibly cool gentlemen—everyone from Brando and Newman to Belafonte, Dylan and Davis Jr. Hell, even Charlton Heston got in on the action. It’s as if somehow impassioned, selfless endeavoring has a way of adding an extra layer of dapperness—not to mention being on the right side of history.

Now presenting: A Pictorial Demonstration of Style Icons Rallying for Civil Rights.»

A Tour of American Protest Style

On the heels of yesterday’s Zuccotti troubles (captured in gloriously cheeky video here), we thought we’d take a moment to recognize the unique style of the American protestor.

It’s not flashy, of course, but there’s plenty to admire here, from the black suits of the civil rights era to the Oakie uniform of work shirts and weathered khakis. They weren’t wearing them to make a statement—they had signs for that—but it was part of the message nonetheless.

As it turns out, charisma has a way of making its own style, and they were never short on charisma.

A tour of American protest style...»