As model Jacquetta Wheeler picked through the Alexander Wang tank tops brandishing the single word “Change,” looking for a something smaller than the extra large sizes left in the frenzy, the plead to vote Obama reverberated through the space Tuesday night, an audibly emotional request from none other than Anna Wintour.
The Brit expat and Vogue chieftan joined another fashion paragon, Sarah Jessica Parker, in an edict during this fashion week in New York that is frankly, of much more import to the bottomline of this country’s GNP and image in world markets than anything Marc proclaimed on the runway the evening before.
|Nanette Lepore's Badges|
Vote Obama, and make sure everyone else you know does this November since our very future as Americans and as world citizens depends on it, they beseeched a crowd of some 400, including designers Tory Burch and Erin Featherstone and photographer Ellen Von Unwerth, who’d paid between $250 and $5k to attend Tuesday night’s Runway for Change.
Smack in the midst of fashion week, and competing with prime-time shows by Narcisco Rodriguez and Rodarte, the evening and showcased initiative were pulled together as an answer—well, reaction—to Sarah Palin’s confirmation as Republican veep nominee last week. Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang, Zac Posen, Diane Von Furstenberg, Isaac Mizrahi and Russell Simmons are among the two dozen designers who contributed signature pro-Obama T-shirts, tote bags and other merch for sale.
The aim, declared Wintour, is to raise $2 million for the Obama Victory.
Many guests, such a Francisco Costa, whose Calvin Klein presentation is less than 48 hours away, were gone before the speeches, brief as they were, ended.
Rachel Roy, who was airkissing Andre Leon Talley at the door when I arrived, custom printed taupe chiffon with Obama’s message of hope and cut it into scarves. While Nanette Lepore created tri-color ribbon badges that had a kind of Gibson Girl on the Fourth of July feel to them.
While Jay-Z provided one of the most potentially iconic graphic T-shirts, wife Beyonce signed off one of the ugliest: This is potentially a crisis of historical, even biblical proportions and this fashion school reject of a graphic is the best she could offer? Suffice it to say, the stack of her Tees remained untouched.
As for those Wang “Change” tanks that were so popular, I’d bought one of the last two larges only minutes before, the two smaller sizes having sold out immediately. I also picked up a Marc Jacobs tote, since I couldn’t resist the big buttons spelling out
Obama ’08—down to a button just for the apostrophe. (The entire range is available as of now at Obama’s official campaign site. Click here to shop.)
One look that could fly as fast as Narcisco’s logo-spotted sheer T-shirt is the jacket SJP was wearing, specifically the scrap safety pinned on the backside and scrawled with “Barack ‘n Roll.”
With only 55 days and counting left, as SJP reminded the crowd repeatedly, it’s time to rock the vote, especially in those states such as Florida and Indiana, far, far away from fashion week cities such as NY and LA–yet so very influential.