"NASTY WOMEN UNITE" FOR THE WOMEN'S MARCH ON WASHINGTON
It's been inspiring to see so many Working Not Working Members apply their creativity to the social causes they feel most passionate about. One such member is New York-based Designer Simi Mahtani, who has created some super-clean "Nasty Women Unite" shirts and sweatshirts, with all proceeds going to Planned Parenthood.
Below, we talk to Simi about the impetus behind this latest project, and what she sees as the role of an artist in addressing social issues through their work. If you or someone you know is planning to attend the Women's March On Washington on January 21st, or a corresponding local march, make sure to pick up one of Simi's shirts to protest in style.
Tell us a little bit about your creative background. Who is Simi and how did she get here?
I'm a freelance art director and designer currently working in the realm of experiential design for pop-up events, brands, and retail experiences. I specialize in crafting unique lettering and typography.
Previously I cultivated my love for sports as a senior designer and art director in-house at the NFL, with an amazing team of creatives that allowed me to explore environmental branding for large-scale events such as the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl.
What social causes are you most passionate about?
I proudly stand with Planned Parenthood in their continual fight for women's reproductive care and rights. After the election especially, I wanted to find a way to fundraise using design.
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest project?
I created some tees here and I'm donating 100% of the funds from the sale of the shirts to Planned Parenthood. So not only do you get a dope shirt, but your money will also help other women around the country immensely. They make cool gifts for all the Nasty Women in your life.
Is there often a political or social edge to your work, or do you feel a certain immediacy these days?
I'm a native New Yorker, so I think I was born to appreciate and embrace immediacy. I definitely think that this has influenced my style as a creative: to be bold enough to stand out, with a clear, strong message to communicate. While I'm aware of social and political issues, it has mostly come through in my personal work. It is a method of expression for me, and hey, much cheaper than therapy.
The phrase "Nasty Women Unite" on the shirts is definitely politically charged. Who knew that one man's two words would define an entire movement of women to take action.
What do you see as the role of an artist in addressing these issues through their work?
As creatives, we have a critical role and platform to deliver impactful messages. There really is no better time to use that voice than now. We need to keep creating, making, tinkering, crafting, and pushing the envelope especially to evolve from the norm.
What’s next for you?
I would love to be involved with more projects that have a goal to create social impact. But first, let's sell some more Nasty Women Unite shirts :)
Who are some other WNW Members whose work you admire and why?
Working Not Working is an amazing community of creatives, it's so hard to narrow down! But I am a huge fan of the work of WnW Members David Saracino, Kervin Brissauex, Jon Contino, and Lauren Hom. Their work is so inspiring to me and constantly pushes me to strengthen my own craft.
Anything else you’d like to add?
A quote I love by Eleanor Roosevelt that says, "A rise in tides raises all boats." I hope this helps someone else take action.