What Happens When You Add Feminism to Fashion? The Phenomenal Woman

Chances are you’ve seen a celebrity (or two) sporting the “Phenomenal Woman” t-shirt. What started as an idea, inspired by Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman” poem, turned into a viral phenomenon. Spearheaded by lawyer and activist, Meena Harris, the idea was to launch a product that would support non-profit organizations, with all net proceeds benefiting these chosen organizations.

A couple of years later, and the t-shirt turned into The Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign – a female-powered organization that brings awareness to social causes, supporting a wide range of initiatives. According to their website, by getting the official Phenomenal Woman t-shirt, you’re not only making a bold statement in support of women everywhere, but you’re also supporting the critical work that’s being done for women’s rights on the ground by fearless organizations every day. 

“I thought I was going to create 20 or so shirts and send them off with my friends,” admitted Harris in an interview with Shape. But then, the Women’s March happened, and the simple t-shirt gained traction. “Instead of saying ‘ok, we hit our goal, let me go back to my regular life,’ I thought ‘holy cow, I have to keep growing this, right? We’re really onto something here,'” she recalled thinking. “Turning what I think was this moment of despair and what was really scary for a lot of people into a moment of celebration and of lifting women up, and of saying that women are resilient and phenomenal in their own individual ways and, together, we can get through this—that’s really what inspired me to commit to this long-term.”

And so, she went from one month to a three-month pilot, during which time she ended up selling over 10,000 shirts. “And here I am now, over two and a half years later, talking about it,” she says. “I never thought that it would be anything bigger than one month.”

Follow her impressive campaign on Instagram: