As long as we allow candidates to raise money from private donors, giving money to political campaigns is probably a more effective way to influence the outcome of a race than walking into a voting booth. You and I might donate $10, $20, even $100 to our favorite candidate (just kidding: I won't donate my money to a cause unless I get groceries out of it. So yeah, that pretty much limits my choices to CSAs), but these are largely symbolic gestures: real people (and by that I mean, wealthy people) often give the maximum allowed contribution of $5,000 to the person they think will best represent their values and interests if elected to public office.
And because the fashion industry loves having power, but is also committed to the transformative power of spending money, lots of people working at every level of fashion have been donating to the presidential campaigns.
Even though plenty of employees and executives at mass-market retailers (from Hot Topic to Neiman Marcus) have been donating, individual high-fashion designers haven't been tightening their purse strings.
Tommy Hilfiger, Tory Burch, and Michael Kors have all handed Barack Obama $5000. You know what I'm going to say next, don't you? Can I have some? I'll uh…just kidding, I won't do anything for you. Obama's reelection will definitely have more of an impact, in the grand scheme of things, than me buying myself a Macbook Air and a ticket to the South of France. Which, in the wake of Tax Day last Tuesday, raises an important question: do campaigns have to pay taxes on private donations?
Burch also designed some merchandise for Obama's "Runway to Win" campaign store. And she isn't the only major American designer majorly in the tank for Obama-Biden: Altuzarra, Marchesa, Prabal Gurung, Marc Jacobs, Derek Lam, Tracy Reese, Narciso Rodriguez, Rachel Roy, Thakoon, Diane Von Furstenberg, Alexander Wang, Vera Wang, Jason Wu also contributed designs for the "Runway to Win" initiative.
They're totally hoping they'll get to dress Michelle Obama on election night this November. Oh, and also they care about the future of our country.