Is Anna Wintour the Oprah of the fashion industry? The Vogue editrix’s support of Barack Obama over the years has been no secret. Her $30,000+ per person fundraisers for the commander-in-chief–one at her home and one at Harvey Weinstein’s–were highly publicized and practically shut down all of downtown Manhattan last year. In addition to raising tons of money for the DNC, the events drew a star-studded crowd of celebrities and designers.
So as Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign gets underway, Anna is using her pull with the fashion crowd to support him. First up, another event, co-hosted by Scarlett Johansson in conjunction with a new initiative assembled by Vogue called Runway to Win.
Runway to Win will showcase exclusive products created by 22 designers to be sold online at runwaytowin.com with proceeds benefiting the Obama Victory Fund, WWD is reporting. The list of participating designers (many of whom have dressed Mrs. Obama) is like an all-star selection of the CFDA and includes Marc Jacobs, Tory Burch, Diane von Furstenberg, Narciso Rodriguez, Jason Wu, Alexander Wang, Joseph Altuzarra, Rag & Bone, Rachel Roy and Tracy Reece.
We wouldn’t be surprised if most, if not all, of the aforementioned designers were asked directly by Wintour to participate, meaning she got some pretty big names to publicly side with Obama–a move many companies see as risky. In fact, sources told WWD that Jacobs essentially defied LVMH–whose executives “initially vetoed brands in their luxury stable from participating”–and went ahead with designing a t-shirt “following pressure from Vogue.”
It is commonly known that Anna Wintour is not really someone you say ‘no’ to when you’re a designer, so that could have something to do with the amount of major designers participation in Runway to Win. Still, the fashion industry has always had a democratic lean. WWD cites a nonpartisan study which found that we contributed almost twice as much money to Obama than McCain in 2008.