Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour has enlisted several designers, including Marc Jacobs, to participate in her “Runway To Win” campaign to support President Barack Obama’s re-election efforts. Yet the designer doesn’t believe the merging of fashion and politics is necessarily a good idea.
Jacobs recently spoke out about the industry’s involvement in politics to WWD, saying it was wise to stay out of such matters: “I guess politics and fashion, you’ve always got to be a bit careful because somebody’s going to get offended or somebody’s going to feel it isn’t right.”
Jacobs was embroiled in controversy after his Free Tibet collection incited outrage and the threat of a boycott in China. He also received criticism from parent company, LVMH, when he decorated his store pro-Obama and anti George W. Bush in 2008.
When you consider the potential backlash corporations like Target and Chick-Fil-A or designers like Jacobs experience when they share polarizing views, you have to wonder if it’s worth it to get involved in politics at all.
As Jacobs also shared, designers’ primary focus should be on creating and marketing beautiful clothes and avoiding controversy that might hinder commercial success: “I don’t want to sound stupid or ignorant or anything, but I spend my time in the studio choosing fabric and colors and trying to figure out what we’re going to make.… If you want to avoid controversy, you just don’t do [political] things like that.”