The fashion industry seems to be leaning to the left, according to a recent analysis of the industry’s financial support of presidential candidates leading up to the 2012 election.
WWD commissioned the Center for Responsive Politics to crunch the numbers, which took into consideration donations from department store, mass retail and apparel brand executives and employees. The result: the industry gave a total of $435,160 to the presidential race, 53.9 percent, or $234,600, to Obama and 45.9 percent to Republicans.
Also interesting: the fashion industry may play a more significant role in getting Obama re-elected than other Democratic-leaning industries like Hollywood, tech and Wall Street, whose donations are said to have declined this time around.
Considering the fact that the Obama-Biden campaign has a Vogue-organized fashion initiative, the very public support of Anna Wintour and that Michelle Obama has become a style icon and a champion of young designers, it’s not exactly shocking to learn that the bulk of the fashion industry is on their side. Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, told WWD, “It helps his campaign that Michelle Obama as First Lady has embraced and showcased new American designers.” Another good point she makes: “Of course, you can’t ignore the role that gay rights advocates play from within the industry, which takes a much different view of the Obama camp than the Romney campaign.”
At the same time though, fashion is a business, so it should come as no surprise that it was CEOs of big apparel companies, like PVH Corp, Guess, Inc. and Jockey International, who gave the most dough to pro-business Republican candidate Mitt Romney.