On Wednesday, Guess Inc. and The Guess Foundation will round out its sponsorship of Denim Day, the month-long campaign created by the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization Peace Over Violence to bring awareness against sexual violence. The organization provides victims with 24 hour hotline crisis intervention, therapy sessions with licensed counselors and sexual abuse response teams to accompany rape survivors to hospitals and police stations.
The campaign, which started on March 22, will come to an end on Denim Day, April 27 when Guess will host a campus event at the University of Southern California. The event will be aimed at spreading awareness and educating a younger demographic around consent, the misconceptions around rape and the actions that can be taken to prevent college campus sexual assault.
Guess will prompt students to record mini “video promises,” pledging their intent to wear denim on Denim Day and to push this mini “video promise” out to their social communities. Within the pledge, one nominates another person in their social community to also take the pledge and record their own “video promise”, subsequently nominating another person in that person’s social community, thus creating a viral reaction similar to that of the ALS Bucket Challenge in 2014. The initiative will be executed through the brand’s partnership with Snapchat creating custom Guess Denim Day filters targeting 2,200 college campuses and Guess and G by Guess retail locations nationwide.
To further support Peace Over Violence, The Guess Foundation has pledged to donate 10 percent of net proceeds from all denim and select accessories sales to the organization from April 25, 2016 through April 30, 2016.
The 2016 campaign marks the third year Guess has been the official sponsor of Denim Day. Last year the brand brought Denim Day to Italy, the country that inspired the movement. It plans to return to Italy for a second year, as well as launch the initiative in Spain. Through Guess’ continued support, Guess Chief Creative Officer Paul Marciano reported that Peace Over Violence was able to increase the number of sexual assault survivors it serves by 25 percent, which represents an additional 515 survivors.
He added, “The Guess woman is sexy and confident but sexy is never an invitation or an excuse to rape, and we are here to spread that message and create awareness even further by bringing Denim Day across the globe.”
The Denim Day campaign was originally triggered by a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have helped her rapist remove her jeans, thereby implying consent. The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. Peace Over Violence developed the Denim Day campaign in response to this case and the activism surrounding it. Since then, Denim Day has evolved into a global movement, and wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault.