Anna Wintour is apparently pulling strings to get fashion brands to design merchandise for Barack Obama's reelection. Under Wintour's program, called Runway to Win, goods from 22 designers including t-shirts, totes, and scarves will go on sale online this Thursday. Wintour has been a prominent Democratic fundraiser, and has hosted fêtes for Obama at her house. Runway to Win is modeled on a similar 2008 program organized by Wintour, called Runway to Change. But four years later, kind of like Obama's disappointed Democratic base at large, apparently not everyone was so very keen to get on board:
Some fashion executives were wary of publicly siding with Obama's reelection campaign due to the risk of alienating their brands from Republican voters. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton executives initially vetoed brands in their luxury stable from participating in Runway to Win, said sources. However, Marc Jacobs, which is majority owned by LVMH, went ahead with its T-shirt design for the project, following pressure from Vogue, said sources.
After all, we all know Marc Jacobs can't say no to Anna Wintour. As little as the possibility of a President Romney thrills us, the idea of an influential magazine editor pressuring designers into participating in political activities like fund-raising makes us frankly a little uncomfortable. [WWD]
Meanwhile, Louis Vuitton has confirmed that it is launching a collaboration with artist Yayoi Kusama this July. Included will be handbags, watches, scarves, and miscellaneous other accessories — all presumably polka-dotted. Louis Vuitton has previously done collaborations with Stephen Sprouse, Richard Prince, and Takashi Murakami . [WWD ]
- Amber Tamblyn says she got the best Portland-related swag when she did a cameo on Portlandia — a ring, black glasses, boots...and hand-rolled tampons. "All the things that young ladies like!" she joked. [The Cut]
- Fashion week regular Nicki Minaj wouldn't talk to the Times for its big profile of her — but her manager told the paper that they are "in talks" with Vogue for a cover. [NYTimes]
- Dolce & Gabbana has sparked protests after store security guards in Hong Kong prevented locals from taking pictures of the store's exterior — even though they were on a public street. Tourists who wanted to take similar snapshots of the store were apparently permitted to do so. [WSJ]
- Models are finding that lots of fans, and even certain clients, like it if they have a social media profile. Doutzen Kroes says she likes to Tweet about the charities she supports, as well as more personal stuff. "I can tweet and 160,000 can see what I'm doing or cooking at home. I forget that because I'm just doing it on my phone, but I'm always trying to reach people in a positive way so I don't think it's a bad thing." Heide Lindgren says, "You can make yourself into more than a model this way...It introduces me to a new audience, and it might be more people seeing my posts than something that's in Vogue." Coco Rocha, who has 230,000 followers, says, "When I started, models were booked only for their cheekbones. Now I think I get bookings because people will say they respect me, or we stand for the same things, or they think what I have to say is interesting. It's better." [WaPo]
- Tonino Perna, the man responsible for the bankruptcy of fashion giant IT Holdings, and therefore the man who made Roberto Cavalli cry, has been arrested in Italy in connection with the 2009 bankruptcy. He is charged with something called "criminal bankruptcy," and could be on the hook for €61 million. [WWD]
- E!'s Fashion Police is increasing its run time to a full hour for its second season. Melissa Rivers says they have new segments planned: "We've discovered that a lot of these woman are taking dresses that are one length on the runway and literally hacking them off and making them short, so we're doing a thing called The Slut Cut." How positive! [E!]
- Someone in the Daily Mail thinks you can't be a feminist if you like fashion. Or as the tabloid puts it, "Memo to women MPs: you can't be a clothes horse AND a feminist!" [DM]
- Unseasonably warm weather in the Northeast this winter has hampered sales of boots and coats. Retailers are crossing their fingers for a cold snap, but a December and January of sunny, 60-degree days followed by a February of steeply discounted leather goods sounds just about ideal to us. [WWD]
- This weekend appreciation of the late, great Filene's Basement in the Times reads a little like a better-written haul video. But hey, the point of Filene's was always earning bragging rights through extreme shopping. [NYTimes]
- And now, a moment with Simon Doonan. Simon, would you have made a good guest judge on Queer Eye For The Straight Guy?
"I never understood that show. They would take men who were kind of fun looking and had a mullet and a goofy outfit and make them look sensible. If I met a guy who had a mullet I would say ‘OK, let's make it a bit longer and glossier.' In Star magazine I always like that page where it says ‘What were they thinking!?.' I don't want people to look sensible. I want them to be fun and crazy and try new things and be reckless."