Politics on the Runway

As a person who loves fashion and is very interested in politics, the line can sometimes gets a little fuzzy. When I read that designers such as: Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Phillip Lim, Zac Posen and many more, refused to dress the First Lady, Melania Trump, I was a little taken back. Shouldn’t anyone be honored to dress the First Lady of the United States of America? I don’t think it should matter whether you are a Republican or a Democrat. As an American, I felt that the designers who spoke out against dressing the First Lady, should have considered all their clients before making such a statement.

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When I found out that various designers including, Ralph Lauren and Dolce and Gabbana, were willing to dress the First Lady, I was very pleased and proud to be a fan. I do not think that Melania should be blacklisted for her husbands politics, but some designers disagree.

Ivanka Trump, the daughter of President Trump, created her fashion label and had it in major departments stores like Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Dillards. After she announced that she would be working alongside her father, she received a lot of backlash for not disconnecting herself from her label. Herself being an Independent, I do not think that she should have received so much criticism and people saying that they will never buy from her line again. Some department stores were forced to drop her line due to people boycotting them until they did so.

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In the Fashion industry, politics has been a recurring theme thanks to iconic designers such as Katherine Hamnett, Jean Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld and more. This season designers incorporated white bandanas in their fashion shows to symbolize acceptance and inclusivity. This is a positive message that people enjoy.

I believe the line gets blurred with fashion and politics because when do you really know once the line was crossed? A designer might be insulting thousands of customers, but maybe creating new customers who want to buy.

“I just use fashion as a way to talk about politics. Because I’m a fashion designer, it gives me a voice, which is really good.”- Vivienne Westwood


Teen Vogue

Independent UK



Ivanka Trump

Melania Trump (Photo)

Ivanka Trump (photo)

3 thoughts on “Politics on the Runway

  1. This was really interesting to read! I knew many designers refused to dress the First Lady, but I haven’t thought about the extent that sort of a statement makes. I agree that a designer should feel honored to dress the First Lady. Symbolically showing support like that seems of greater importance to me than refusing to do so because your political party is opposite of hers. As for Ivanka – shouldn’t people be more supportive of an entrepreneur contributing to society in one way or another, and not bash her and her work solely because they dislike her father? If she wanted to step away from her role in her line to take on a role in the White House, that’s fine, but she should do it to prioritize and not because the public is pressuring her to do one thing.

  2. I agree with the idea that designers refusing to dress the First Lady is disappointing as it has always been thought to be a huge honor to be able to dress such a well known public figure. I also agree that it is ok for a designer or brand to get political as long as it is a positive message that they are trying to put out into the world. I think that anyone that is trying to discriminate or promote separation of people is wrong and that messages of inclusivity, like the white bandanas that Katherine Hamnett, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Karl Lagerfeld, had their models wear should be shared instead.

  3. Great post. I like your argument. The one thing missing is photos. This being the first post I assume that many students may have technical issues, but a suggestion is to break down the post to paragraphs and include photos in between. Good job!

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