For those of us hoping to end the four year-long waking nightmare that was the Trump presidency, Election Day will be anxiety-ridden. Even the most hopeful and optimistic among us are feeling unnerved; after all, we lived through the disappointment of 2016. Tomorrow is not going to be easy. But it’s important to keep in mind the positive, progressive actions that citizens, famous and not, have taken these last few months to get out the vote and combat misinformation, hate, and injustice.
Late last week, Prabal Gurung teamed up with For Freedoms and the organization’s 2020 Awakening’s project to erect a billboard in the swing state of North Carolina. The sign features a dress from Gurung’s spring 2020 collection and a sash that reads “Who Gets to Be an American?” alongside the phrase “American Dream = Segregated Nightmare?” His was one of 50 billboards that For Freedoms erected around the country in an effort to promote awareness about the importance of this year’s election. “As we lead into one of the most important and historic elections of our lifetime,” Gurung told Vogue, “it is our patriotic duty to challenge America to be the best it can be and also continue to hold our leadership accountable.”
Gurung is a Nepali-American who came to this country 20 years ago and has become outspoken about the democratic process. Here’s how he and some of his fellow New York designers plan to spend election night.
“I am planning to watch election night with a few close friends safely and at home. Throughout the evening we have a couple Zooms set up with friends both in New York and around the country. During these uncertain times it is important to feel supported and surrounded by people who bring you joy and hope.”—Prabal Gurung
“I will watch the election results at home with my husband and our cat. I have watched the results for every presidential election since my childhood. I can’t imagine not following something that impacts us all in such a profound way.”—Michael Kors
“I’ll be watching the election in East Hampton with friends. We will all be wearing our PJs, eating s’mores and drinking wine by the fire while playing Code Names to have something to distract and calm us.”—Tanya Taylor
“Tuesday’s planning is the same as in 2016. My husband and I will be in New York City watching the election results come in with our best friends Virginia and Patrick. However, expecting a much different outcome this year.”—Victor Glemaud
“I will be channel surfing between The Bureau, which will be a much needed distraction, and the news on election night. It’s hard to predict the outcome but I do hope that there will be a historic number of Americans voting and women elected to local and national offices.”—Tory Burch
“My plan is to spend election day with my loved ones. I am going to visit my mother who is 80. I speak about her a lot as she was born in 1940 Mississippi and has lived through so much and it’s interesting to see this moment in history through her eyes. At the same time, my young nephews (under 10 years old) are both very aware of what is going on in the country regarding the pandemic (as they are zoom schooling at the moment), and racial injustice… It’s interesting to see the world through their young eyes. You want to protect them but at the same time, they are both young dark-skinned black boys and they are becoming increasingly conscious of what is going on in society and how important this election is. I will visit my father who is an immigrant and disabled and I know how much this election can affect him, and I am fascinating to experience it also through him.
I will end the night watching the election coverage with my bestie – Rosario and her family.
It will be a family affair full of so many different points of view and points of reference. I will also be praying for a peaceful and unified America post-election regardless of the results.” –Abrima Erwiah of Studio 189
“This election night will be a stark contrast to the 2016 election party I attended in Brooklyn which was a debaucherous evening with champagne where I thought I would be toasting to our first female president. This time, I will be watching the election at home with the support of my loving son, Pigeon (a chihuahua-pug mix). I will offset the tension with copious amounts of natural wine and episodes of The Great British Bake Off. I’m going to light a Reiki-charged candle and say a prayer for the world and really hope for the best and know that dark days always end.”—Susan Alexandra