While the Oscars featured several trends on the red carpet — including white dresses, statement jewels and close-toed heels— one stood out in particular: blue ribbon pins, worn by stars including Cate Blanchett, Dolly De Leon and Bill Nighy. However, the pins weren’t a fashion statement, but rather a show of support for international refugees.
The ribbons in question — a small blue strip printed with “#WithRefugees” lettering on a pin, made by Knotty Tie Co. — were crafted for the United Nations Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR) #WithRefugees campaign. The movement, created with a group of universities, nonprofits, foundations, faith-based organizations, youth groups and businesses, aims to aid displaced international refugees and call for greater support for them. This includes at least 100 million individuals who were displaced in 2022 alone, according to the UNHCR.
“The wearing of the blue #WithRefugees ribbon on the red carpet sends a powerful visual message that everyone has the right to seek safety — whoever, wherever, whenever they are,” the organization stated in a press release.
Blanchett has notably been a leading star for the cause in recent weeks, wearing her pin to occasions like the BAFTAs and Time‘s Women of the Year Gala to raise greater awareness.
“What I love about film is the way it draws us into compelling human themes to uncover the connective tissue that binds us all,” Blanchett wrote in a statement. “Whenever I have met refugees — in places such as Lebanon, Jordan or Bangladesh, in the UK, or back home in Australia — what has struck me has not been their ‘otherness’ but how many things we share in common.”
As the current 2023 awards season comes to a close with Sunday’s Oscars ceremony and after-parties, it remains to be seen how #WithRefugees and similar causes will be championed by celebrities on and off the red carpet this year.
PHOTOS: Discover all the stars at the Oscars 2023 red carpet in the gallery.