Artist Michele Pred Put Activist Messages On Handbags — And Sent Them To The Oscars

by Lydia Wang

Swedish-American artist Michele Pred is known for promoting social change through her work, whether she’s tackling consumerism, the workforce, or reproductive rights. And just last weekend, Pred’s work made it to the 2018 Oscars. Her latest line of handbags — or, in Pred’s words, mobile art pieces — is aptly titled The Power of the Purse, and you’re about to become obsessed.

Each vintage purse is individually sourced, and words or phrases are created using electroluminescent wire. The text ranges from “MY BODY, MY BUSINESS” to “EQUAL PAY.” Some of the most striking purses light up with percentages: 79% (as in, the amount of a white man’s salary that a white woman earns), 64% (the figure for black women), and 54% (for Latina women).

percentagespic 67ec0Photo courtesy of Michele Pred

“I chose purses as my canvas as a way to marry the powerful, politically-charged language of today’s resistance with representations of women’s modern economic power and the possibilities for change that come with it,” Pred said in a press release. “For me, the use of purses from the mid-twentieth century also calls back to that critical era in the women’s movement, and reminds us how much power we can have to effect meaningful change.”

Only ten purses are made with each phrase, and many of them are already in the hands of some kickass ladies. Actresses Sarah Jones and Jodi Long carried Pred’s creations on Sunday, and so did Oscar-nominated costume designer Deborah Landis and reproductive rights advocate and member of the Dolby Sound family Dagmar Dolby. One of Pred’s designs, modeled by Lindy West, was also featured in our fashion editorial with #ShoutYourAbortion in BUST’s February/March 2018 issue.

BUST SYA 1516 60564 7f868Lindy West photographed by Tawni Bannister for BUST

Check out some of the photos from last weekend below, and Pred’s website here.

Sarah Jones Angela Bassett Tracee Ellis Jones and Marianne Jean Baptiste 97005Sarah Jones, Angela Bassett, Tracee Ellis Jones and Marianne Jean Baptiste

Sarah Jones and Rashida Jones 7c77bSarah Jones and Rashida Jones

Sarah Jones and Ava DuVernay 239bfSarah Jones and Ava DuVernay

JodiLong af7d9Jodi Long: photo courtesy of Michele Pred

deborahl 091faDeborah Landis, photo courtesy Michele Pred

Dolby da112

Dagmar Dolby: photo courtesy of Michele Pred

Top photo courtesy of Michele Pred

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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