Fashion Bigwigs Now Big Political Players

Designers used to support issues; now they're supporting Obama
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 8, 2012 10:54 AM CDT
Michelle Obama during a taping of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," Tuesday, May 29, 2012, in New York.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
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(Newser) – Could Michelle Obama's taste in clothes help her husband win reelection? The Washington Post sees a fashion industry gaining political traction—and a pattern emerging between Mrs. Obama's outfits and her husband's donations. Almost half of the designers she wears have donated to the president's cause, and the number donating for 2012 is triple the number who'd given by June 2008. Meanwhile, none of the designers the first lady has donned have offered cash to the GOP during the past two presidential elections. The Post notes this is a big change for an industry that typically supported issues, like AIDS, not candidates.

Obama's fashion choices can reap big benefits for a designer, offering stock value boosts as big as $14 million, according to one study. But Obama believes women should wear what's "comfortable," and "no other considerations" factor into her own clothing choices, a rep says. The Post notes that big donors don't necessarily win a firm place in Obama's wardrobe, and she's worn designers who haven't donated. Click to learn how Anna Wintour is helping the 2012 campaign.

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