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pushed out at levis after opposing covid closures jennifer sey now fights for women in sports

Pushed out at Levi’s after opposing COVID closures, Jennifer Sey now fights for women in sports

After losing her high-level fashion gig for daring to disagree with progressive orthodoxy, Jennifer Sey is back and ready to make more waves. In 2022, Sey claims, she was pushed out of her job as the global brand president at Levi’s. During the pandemic, the exec, now 55, spoke out against public school closures, masking for toddlers and school vaccine mandates. She wanted to open playgrounds. A good lefty living in San Francisco, Sey believed in free speech, civil liberties and helping the little guy. But she discovered that Democrats and her company, for which she created a successful ad campaign urging customers to “use your voice,” did not. She became the face of pandemic-frenzy cancellation. Today, Sey is looking pretty damn correct on all things COVID. And now the executive is trying to topple another verboten topic — one that is just as illiberal and illogical: trans women in female sports. Last week, Sey launched XX-XY Athletics, billed as “the only athletic brand to stand up for female athletes and the protection of women’s sports.” “[Protecting women’s sports] I’s not bigoted. It’s empathy for girls and the acknowledgment of reality,” Sey, a former elite gymnast who competed on the US Women’s National team, told me. “Fairness has taken a back seat. Americans have to stand up and marginalize this viewpoint that is not based in fact.” Poll after poll shows a majority of Americans are against trans women participating in women’s and girls’ sports. But if you dare speak out on this obvious injustice, you’re the problem. In fact, just before XX-XY Athletics’ first photo shoot for its website, the modeling agency providing the talent pulled out, Sey said. “We told them up front about the concept. We’re not here to trick anyone. I guess they thought it was fine at first and then reconsidered. They thought they might be cancelled,” she explained. Sey instead tapped friends of staffers to model the brand’s offerings. The new brand has also enlisted former college swimmers Riley Gaines (University of Kentucky) and Paula Scanlan (UPenn) as ambassadors. Both have been vocal about the inherent biological edge that males have, speaking from the experiences of having competed against and alongside trans swimmer Lia Thomas. “Yes, it’s scary and you will get called names,” Sey said of speaking up for fairness in women’s sports. “It’s really hard but we can do it together. It’s the vast majority of people who agree. Imagine if we all stood up. We have to coax the people with common sense out of the closet so to speak. Otherwise the loudest, most irrational bullying voices win.” Her new business arrives as there is buzz of a parallel or “patriot” economy, with conservatives launching startups to compete with woke corporate initiatives. I’m weary of the division — but I’m also weary of the need for it. While I found Bud Lite partnering with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney to be a foolish marketing blunder, I was truly taken aback by Nike signing Mulvaney as a model. A biological dude with virtually no chest, prancing around in a Nike sports bra, was supposed to sell me an item that is an essential and functional part of my participation in sports? No thank you. Sey resists being categorized as part of this parallel economy, though. “I am in the regular economy,” Sey said. “But in order to be part of the regular economy, your product has to be so good — and that’s a bar I’ve set for myself. You can’t just make garbage products that people buy once because they appreciate your message.” Most consumers don’t want a manifesto. We simply want innovation, quality and something that looks good. “I have said publicly that brands need to get back to the normie capitalism: great product, relevant marketing — and stop pushing ideology on us,” Sey said of her own philosophy. “So people will say, I am sure, aren’t you pushing ideology?” But she insists she is not. “I am speaking truth,” she told me. “This is not political [to say] that biology is real. That’s just common sense.” In June, her brand will roll out their performance line, followed by a July mini drop to celebrate freedom — which, she notes, “should not be a right wing concept.” The premium athletic brand (leggings run $110 and T-shirts go for $40) has already received a warm welcome. “We sold out of a bunch of stuff and actually ended up doing about three weeks’ worth of sales in the first five days,” Sey said. I’m buying what she’s selling. I hope XX-XY Athletics can shake up the industry and our collective reticence to speak out for fairness, safety and common sense.

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