New York City florists received a wave of requests for white rose corsages and boutonnieres late last week, as stars planned their attire for the 60th annual Grammy Award, Sunday, January 28.
Earlier this month, actresses (and actors) wore black to the Golden Globes Awards in protest of the long-standing acceptance of sexual harassment and gender inequality in Hollywood—and to symbolize the end of an era. The fashion statement coincided with the launch of Time’s Up, an organization founded by some of the industry’s most prominent actresses to combat harassment and power imbalance in the workplace.
Musicians saw film industry professionals standing together in a sea of ebony and felt inspired to do something during their moment in the spotlight. A group called Voices in Entertainment — formed by Meg Harkins, senior vice president of marketing at Roc Nation and Karen Rait, of Rhythmic Promotion, Interscope/Geffen/A&M Records— sent a letter to their colleagues encouraging them to show their solidarity for the movement by wearing a white rose to the awards ceremony.
“We choose the white rose because historically it stands for hope, peace, sympathy and resistance,” the letter read.
Nic Faitos, senior partner at Starbright Floral Design, got his first call for a white rose boutonniere on Thursday.
“I was told it was tied to Times Up and got curious, so I Googled it,” he said. Anticipating a mass order over the weekend, he rushed over to the New York Flower Market to buy as many white roses as he could, then had his designers start making pieces on spec
“Thank goodness we did!” he said. Overall, his shop sold about 500 white rose corsages and boutonnieres, a load that was manageable because the staff worked in advance. “People called here in a panic,” he said. “Apparently they’d tried other shops and they were out of white roses. You could hear their sighs of relief on the phone.”
In addition to providing flowers for the team at E! Entertainment, along with dozens of unknown stars (Faitos spoke with assistants, not celebrities themselves), Starbright also created a gramophone and record out of flowers for the Stewart Hotel, the Grammy’s official hotel.
“It was a great experience,” Faitos said. “There were tons of photos with our flowers and it just felt great to play a part in this powerful movement.”