November 8, 2016
As the United States heads to the polls, brands and fashion influencers are using social media to cast their vote.
While it may be too late to sway anyone’s opinion, social media was used to remind consumers to head to their local polling station to vote for the next president as well as state- and local-level candidates. In such a polarizing election, social media has become a battlefield with constant editorials, memes and peer-to-peer altercations.
Overwhelmingly, the fashion community has put its weight behind Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
In February, U.S. fashion designer Marc Jacobs publicly announced his support of Ms. Clinton by designing a t-shirt for the former secretary of state’s campaign.
Celebrities are often candid regarding who they plan to endorse for presidential elections, understanding that their influence may help sway enthusiasts in the direction of their preferred candidate. Mr. Jacobs is just one of three designers to use fashion to speak to whom they want in the White House come the end of President Obama’s second term, with Tory Burch and Public School also rooting for Ms. Clinton (see story).
Now that Election Day is here, Mr. Jacobs reminded his community of followers to vote and posted a post-ballot selfie with the coveted “I voted” sticker on his lips. In his political posts, Mr. Jacobs’ uses the #ImWithHer hashtag.
Moschino’s Jeremy Scott also shared a snapshot of himself with Ms. Clinton expressing that “We’re with her” and using a hashtag in support of her presidential bid.
Hashtags abound with online retailer Lyst, which is encouraging its consumers to wear white when they head to the polls to show solidarity with Ms. Clinton.
Adding a bit of whimsy to the serious conversations surrounding the election was fashion designer Alber Elbaz. The former creative director of Lanvin created his own political cartoon, using a “face in the hole” application, to create a dance video of himself, Ms. Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump. In the caption, Mr. Elbaz said, “Last call America!!! GO and VOTE #VoteAmerica #DoTheRightThing,” but he does not share his own opinion.
A video posted by Alber Elbaz (@alberelbaz8) on Nov 7, 2016 at 11:42pm PST
British fashion designer Stella McCartney on the other hand was vocal in her social posts regarding the election. In her post, Ms. McCartney is shown holding a picket sign reading, “Trump got dumped.” Her caption reiterated the message saying, “Take a dump Trump x Stella” along with the hashtags #ImWithHer and #GoVote.
Although many in the fashion community are showing support for Ms. Clinton on Election Day, many brands kept their voting messaging neutral.
Tiffany & Co., for example, shared two charms, an elephant and donkey symbolizing Republicans and Democrats, with text reading, “Vote! The power is precious. The choice is yours.”
Similarly, retailers Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s posted non-political messages, showing an “I Voted” sticker on a jacket and a woman in a “Hamilton” tee holding a small American flag , respectively.
Tiffany & Co.'s Election Day message
There has been little, if any, public support for Mr. Trump from the fashion community -- with the exception of his daughter Ivanka Trump’s apparel and accessories brand. On her branded social media accounts, Ms. Trump’s posts include mentions of her brand and father’s campaign.
As part of the luxury landscape in itself, Mr. Trump’s hospitality and lifestyle brand has become “toxic” following the candidate’s vulgar remarks, according to Brand Keys.
The release of a videotape featuring Mr. Trump making lewd statements about women has negatively impacted the public perception of products bearing his name.
A Brand Keys survey conducted following the footage’s appearance found that in 100 percent of the categories studied, including hospitality and apparel, Mr. Trump’s comments hurt the perceived value of products or services. Coming as reports surface of lowered bookings at his hotels, this brand erosion is expected to cause consumers to avoid Trump products (see story).