A few weeks before the election, the campaigns to get the vote are everywhere. Ariana Grande posted a White House inspired video Bella Hadid discussed the importance of voting with Virgil Abloh and stylist Carlos Nazario on Zoom, while designer Tanya Taylor, with help from Hillary Clinton and Rosario Dawson, raised awareness of the importance of registering. As for downtown decor, Danielle Nemet, aka Dani Aphrodite, has it all.
The Canadian-born, New York-based director’s turn on voting video shows fashion’s favorite downtown social darlings pushing their followers to vote in nostalgic clips. In one clip, the West Dakota drag star, dressed in a bandana, hoops and a tank top, says, “Me, am I not voting? As if! ”In another, model Paloma Elsesser looks at the camera and says,“ It’s about freedom. Freedom of speech. Freedom of choice! And the freedom to vote. Collin James Weber and Brandon Veloria Giordano de James Veloria also makes a cute appearance and tells us to “Vote, baby, vote!” It’s all fun, cheeky, and seemingly from the 90s.
The campaign, titled Level Up, was a joint effort between Nemet and the organization Soft power vote, a local resource created by New Yorkers Glenn Robinson, Melissa Saenz Gordon and Yojaira Alvarez on voting in New York City with a focus on the voting process and local politics. The Level Up campaign was a way for Soft Power Vote to get the message about voting to young people in a fun and digestible way. “I think so [voting] just seems completely inaccessible to us, ”says Nemet. “A lot of people I know think there will never be a break for them. So why should they bother to vote in the first place? I think a lot of my peers feel that way.
To get the message across, Nemet, a self-proclaimed ‘nostalgia freak’, took inspiration from Rock the Vote videos from the ’90s, a campaign in which Madonna sang about voting while swaddling an American flag and Iggy Pop talking about freedom. of the floor while being wrapped in duct tape. “You can be yourself – in your nudity, in your American flag or your baggy jeans and topless – and still have an opinion and information that is worth sharing,” says Nemet. Rock the Vote’s use of influential celebrities resonated with Nemet. After all, she’s racing with a cool team in New York City who each have their own audience. “We were trying to use this’ 90s method, like celebrities catching your eye,” says Nemet. “I’m trying to get your attention to some nice people who also say, ‘We should use our voices. It’s time to get involved and make a change.
As a Canadian citizen, Nemet herself cannot vote. But that only galvanized her further to spread the word about the vote. “I not only want to act for myself, but also for my friends and family who are here,” she says. “Just because I don’t have the right to vote doesn’t mean I’m not responsible for being active right now. It is an important thing that you must exercise your privilege of being able to vote and speak for those who cannot necessarily. “