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Rosie The Riveter Is Reborn

New Consumer Ads Celebrate The Progress Of Women In The Workforce Over The Past 75 Years

stacey gorman

Stacey Gorman,
Memphis Tennessee

Women and cotton are both an integral part of the fabric that makes up America. Those of us in the cotton industry know there is no shortage of women to celebrate within our community. I’ve worked for The Cotton Board for 12 years and am continually inspired by the women who work hard on behalf of cotton every day.

In line with the celebration of National Women’s History Month in March, Cotton Incorporated unveiled a new consumer campaign that highlights some of the elements that make cotton, denim and women so strong. The “Rosie Reborn” campaign was inspired by the iconic Rosie the Riveter to honor the strides women have made in the workforce over the past 75 years.

The original Rosie the Riveter was the star of a campaign during World War II aimed at recruiting women for the defense industry to replace men who were serving in the military. An illustration featured a woman in a denim and red bandana with her arm flexed under the words, “We Can Do It!”

Modern-Day Rosie Jumpsuit

Using denim from the original 1940s-era Rosie jumpsuits, Cotton Incorporated joined forces with designers Emily Current and Meritt Elliott of the womenswear brand, THE GREAT., to reimagine and rebuild a new line of modern-day jumpsuits for the barrier-breaking Rosies of today.

“Cotton is the can-do fiber and embodies the versatility of women in today’s workforce,” says Kim Kitchings, senior vice president of Consumer Marketing at Cotton Incorporated. “Authentic cotton denim has been a uniform of sorts throughout history: the original Rosies during World War II, the rock-and-roll rebellion of the 1960s and casual Friday takeover in the ’90s. Denim has empowered women in the workforce for decades. With a modern interpretation of the Rosie jumpsuit, we want women to channel that fearless determination.”

Telling The Rosie Reborn Story

rosie reborn campaign

The iconic Rosie the Riveter starred in a World War II campaign to recruit women for the defense industry to replace men who were serving in the military.

The campaign tagline, “Cotton Makes Denim Strong. You Make It Powerful,” encapsulates both the power of women and the strength of denim. Taking graphic inspiration from World War II-era recruitment posters, Cotton Incorporated created a series of videos, ads and posters to tell the story of Rosie Reborn.

A segment on NBC’s “The Today Show” kicked off the launch of Rosie Reborn late February, and the campaign’s videos and ads are now being shown on popular streaming networks like Hulu and on Cotton Incorporated’s social media channels.

Championing the indomitable spirit of women, the Rosie Reborn campaign spotlights six modern-day Rosies who break boundaries in often male-dominated fields. They include THE GREAT. co-founders Emily Current and Meritt Elliott, professional soccer athlete and World Cup Champion Carli Lloyd, famed metal artist/welder Barbie the Welder, Black Girls Code founder Kimberly Bryant, and architecture thought-leader Julia Gamolina.

Join The Movement

Anyone can become a part of the Rosie Reborn movement as the limited-edition jumpsuit, containing real denim from a vintage Rosie jumpsuit, is available for purchase online at rosiereborn.com.

“For this project, we deconstructed an original Rosie vintage denim jumpsuit and reimagined it to reflect a Rosie of today — creating a one-of-a-kind prototype for The Rosie Jumpsuit,” say Current and Elliott. “Each jumpsuit in the line includes actual denim from a vintage Rosie jumpsuit, connecting Rosies past with Rosies present and beyond.”

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The cotton industry has many Rosies of its own. Like cotton itself, women in our industry have a can-do approach to their work.

From female cotton producers and ginners, to industry organization leaders and importers, to the scientists who study cotton production or fabric technology, the women in the cotton industry have unique experiences and perspectives that make cotton the diverse, vibrant industry it is today.

Gorman is The Cotton Board’s director of communications. Contact her at sgorman@cottonboard.org.