Last night, Anna Wintour was in Chicago to host the second high-profile event for Runway to Win, the Obama campaign's official fashion-backed fundraising initiative (her dinner with SJP and the Obamas is tomorrow). She wore Chanel resort with her favorite Thakoon Runway to Win scarf and thanks to Shoot for Change, we have a video of her opening remarks.
Like any good public speaker, Wintour (a budding comedian) began her speech with a funny little anecdote about the time she was asked to meet with Ambassador Matthew Barzun to discuss, she assumed, her Obama fundraising efforts in New York or her “views on Europe” (and perhaps to ask for advice on how she might become an ambassador herself?). So, she showed up to lunch with a “big file” of research, only be asked about the possibility of a designer collection for pets.
"I then went back to New York and persuaded Marc Jacobs to do Bark for Obama," she says while holding up some sort of stuffed dog wearing a Bark for Obama t-shirt. She also got Thakoon to do a leash and collar. This begs the question--will Wintour ever be taken seriously for something other than her ability wrangle designers and get them to do things? Because she should be.
And, also, we know the Obamas have a dog, but what about cat lovers? We vote too, you know. And fashion and cats share a significant fan base. Just a suggestion.
After encouraging the audience to buy some designer pet gear, Wintour moves into her stump speech, in which, perhaps as a response to her detractors, she points out the fashion industry's significance in our economy:
The enormous interest of the public in this challenge is indicative to me of just how much fashion means to so many people from all walks of life. It's also a global business that's worth $20 billion to the economy and one that employs 4 million people. We are enormously lucky to have a president and first lady who are so supportive of our industry.
Also, remember that Runway to Win design challenge? The winner will be announced in a few weeks!
Below, watch the rest of her speech and introduction of Chanel Iman, who was apparently there to replace Iman (guess they figured, same name-ish?), who hurt her foot and couldn't be there. Plus click through to see photos from the event, via Walter Grio and Jason Wu's and Derek Lam's Twitters.