You have to give Anna Wintour credit: undeterred by public hilarity over her video invitation to My Dinner With Barack, she is plunging ahead, organizing the fashion industry to support Obama’s re-election. Tuesday night in Chicago, she co-sponsored a campaign event called Runway To Win. It was, as you would expect, a glitzy affair:
The highlight of the evening was the announcement that Marc Jacobs has created a new line of pet gear called–I’m not making this up–”Bark For Obama.” Here Ms. Wintour is holding a stuffed animal that is wearing “Bark” apparel:
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.
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.
Those numbers don’t add up, but they do raise an obvious question: isn’t Wintour’s magazine, Vogue, read more or less exclusively by the dreaded 1%? And who, other than the 1%, could possibly afford to buy the fashions that are the magazine’s subject? As silly a concept as Occupy Wall Street might be, Occupy the Fashion District is even sillier.
UPDATE: Here is another photo of a small (naturally) dog wearing a “Bark For Obama” sweater:
It occurs to me that a “Bark For Obama” sweater is not without utility: it can keep your dog warm if you need to put him on the roof of your car.