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This Dress Shows The Potential $1.6 Million Women Are Missing Out On In Retirement Fashion designer and eponymous brand Fe Noel brought the wage and retirement gap to life at New York Fashion Week.

By Gabrielle Bienasz

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Women bring less money into retirement than men — so one fashion designer sent a ball gown made of money down the runway for New York Fashion Week to highlight the disparity.

New York-based label Fe Noel created a dress made of fake money called "the Dre$$" for its latest collection at her SS23 runway show held on September 9 in New York.

The show received a rave review from Vogue. As for the dress, it was created in partnership with TIAA, a financial services company that focuses on retirement.

Courtesy company

"This dress is about laying a strong foundation and building on top of that. It represents women's strength while also highlighting a very real problem in society – the 30% retirement income gap between women and men," Fe Noel, designer of the eponymous brand, said in the statement.

The dress is 16 feet in length and each bill was hand-sewn onto the gown.

"It's a structured gown with a solid foundation; the direction of the dollar bills is purposeful; the finishings and corset are all designed to convey strength and structure – something women exhibit," Noel added.

Courtesy company

The Center for American Progress calculated how much the gender wage gap was costing women as far as investing for retirement, per CNBC. Based on a wage gap of 83 cents to one dollar, women are missing out on $10,435 in median wages annually, which comes to $417,400 a career.

If all of that was invested, at a 6% rate of return, it would equal $1.6 million, the think tank calculated.

Gabrielle Bienasz is a staff writer at Entrepreneur. She previously worked at Insider and Inc. Magazine. 

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