Hello Chau ! I was wondering what your opinion is on fashion as a political statement? At least that's how I would describe it but...¿ Like Tom Ford saying that he won't be dressing Melania Trump or on a lesser scale New Balance 'siding' / I use that loosely / with Trump. In other words is it effective? If so should we really go as far as boycotting the brand? I've been really interested in this of late BUT I am no fashion expert so I've come to the expert. 🖤
aah that was a big thing in the industry when tom ford said that, because he’s established himself, is not of the ordinary kind of individual, very outspoken and very open with his views. (I love him, his interviews are really funny). this is a hard topic to explain since i don’t have a good stance on it, but i will give it a go to the best of my ability.
imo fashion itself is a reflection of social, economic, political and cultural changes. It expresses modernity, symbolising the spirit of the times and since the industry depends on the economy and the trends and waves of influential individuals, you have to consider melania trump as an as *aspirational* figurehead in fashion (note: shes not.)
i think in the last three decades, the industry kind of lost its bedazzle, and with all good means too, that it’s no longer about being able to have full autonomy of creativity but more focusing on profitability and quality for the survival of the industry, as well as fashion itself becoming a secondary objective for (political) figures like melania. you think back to someone like michelle obama, who sought out particular designers to help them grow their business while selectively seeking out couture and custom made designs (she boosted profit sales of designers like maria pinto, derek lam, jason wu, brandon maxwell, azede jeanpierre, narciso rodriguez) and she became a figure that people looked up too because she wasn ‘t just building herself as someone who could afford luxury brands, but also helping to shape their business.
with someone like melania trump, who basically has no political conscience at all, she is not someone that fashion designers would want to align up, because she doesn’t share the value and hardships of the work that designers have to work with. she buys because she can afford, she isn’t likely to work with small and budding designers, rather (i can’t rmbr where i read this but its as close to a quote i can get) she buys straight off the rack of already established houses (gucci, calvin klein etc) and it’s more about what the brands represent, not the creation and mindset of the designs.
some designers and houses are more focused on profiting as much as they can (understandable), but other designers want to keep their ethos and philosophy of their career. designer sophie theallet stated ‘as one who celebrates and strives for diversity, individual freedom and respect for all lifestyles, I will not participate in dressing or associating in any way with the next First Lady. The rhetoric of racism, sexism and xenophobia unleashed by her husband’s presidential campaign are incompatible with the shared values we live by’.
this might be the same for big companies like new balance, i never really followed the news of that because i felt like it wasn’t something i could keep up with, but just reading stuff like this i guess you can kind of have a feel to understand that many designers, businesses etc are stuck in the middle of wanting to still maintain their ethics but also having to work out how to possibly break bank/profit in the next four years if socio-economic things are going to change.