Ball Gown Made of (Fake) Money Debuts at NYFW

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Women bring less money into retirement than men — so one fashion designer sent a ball gown made of money down the runway for New York Fashion Week to highlight the disparity.

New York-based label Fe Noel created a dress made of fake money called “the Dre$$” for its latest collection at her SS23 runway show held on September 9 in New York.

The show, which was created in partnership with TIAA, a financial services company that focuses on retirement, received a rave review from Vogue.

Courtesy company

“This dress is about laying a strong foundation and building on top of that. It represents women’s strength while also highlighting a very real problem in society – the 30% retirement income gap between women and men,” said Fe Noel creator and designer Felisha Noel in a statement.

The dress is 16 feet in length and each bill was hand-sewn onto the gown.

“It’s a structured gown with a solid foundation; the direction of the dollar bills is purposeful; the finishings and corset are all designed to convey strength and structure – something women exhibit,” Noel added.

Courtesy company

The Center for American Progress calculated how much the gender wage gap was costing women as far as investing for retirement, per CNBC. Based on a wage gap of 83 cents to one dollar, women are missing out on $10,435 in median wages annually, which comes to $417,400 a career.

If all of that was invested, at a 6% rate of return, it would equal $1.6 million, the think tank calculated.



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