Obama's spring collection
February 7th, 2012
08:52 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama's spring collection

New York (CNN) - President Barack Obama put New York's top fashion designers to work Tuesday night in a bid to boost his reelection.

The Obama campaign fundraiser, which coincided with a GOP caucus and primary night, wasn't your typical get-together of moneyed Democrats looking to raise funds. More than 500 paying guests showed up to shop for the Obama gear, paying anywhere from $44 for a discounted ticket to $2,500 for a chance to have dinner with the event's organizers.

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The event, held at the upscale chain store Theory and co-hosted by Vogue editor Anna Wintour and actress Scarlett Johansson, was lambasted in newspaper articles and on the web as an insensitive nod to luxury during tough economic times. In fact, there were suggestions the sale could violate campaign finance rules by selling designer label goods for a fraction of the price they would get at department stores.

The Obama campaign responded by pointing out the designers did the projects on their own time and thus did not violate campaign finance restrictions.

Earlier Tuesday, the Republican National Committee slammed Obama's campaign for holding the event, producing a web video listing off the designer goods and asserting, "With 12 million Americans struggling to find work in this weak economy, the optics of this high-end event featuring well-heeled celebrities flies in the face of President Obama's rhetoric."

Twenty-three top fashion designers put their touches on tote bags, shirts, pins and scarves Tuesday. The wares on display: $75 tote bags designed by Tory Burch and Diane Von Furstenburg, $45 t-shirts by Marc Jacobs, Beyonce, Sean John and Narciso Rodriguez, and polo shirts by Russell Simmons.

Many designers adorned their creations with their own unique take on the iconic red, white, and blue Obama logo.

Vera Wang created a tote bag with a heart-shaped design that placed an American flag under the name Obama. Wang told CNN she took part because she is "trying to be supportive of the economy that is in the middle of turning around."

Narciso Rodriguez designed a white t-shirt with blue sleeves and the Obama logo emblazoned across the chest. He took part in a similar event four years ago to support Obama.

"We need to move on to try to help Americans get back to work, anything that helps the economy everyone in fashion cares deeply," Rodriguez said.

In a press release, Johansson explained her participation by saying, "there is so much at stake in this campaign, 2012 will not be easy. We have to fight harder this time."

Susan Walsh waited in line to get inside for what would be her first fundraiser, and said she was doing it to help the president and to be around others excited about his campaign. Her friend bought two tickets for $200 each.

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Filed under: 2012 • President Obama
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. diridi

    these republicans main motive is to have Obama one term president, ban your social security, health care, Medicare, etc, pump money and taxes to Rich, Oil money to Saudi, War with Iran for oil, you know no oil in Iraq, so they mess this nation, and sell it to China, India, Bangladesh etc, o.k, So donate to Democratic party and vote for Direct Dem. Ticket. This election is Rich v/s Middle Class America. Greed v/s need, OK, God bless. Obama2012.

    February 8, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  2. duke5343

    Obama a fashion- his wife spent $50,000 for underware so why not Sell and BUY votes – too bad so many liberals in Hollywood and Media dont keep up with the facts on this mans history & his dirty dealings like healthcare WHICH was a way to buy voted for 2010 election to keep Dems in power- it will cost us Tax payers TRILLIONS- by the by Pelosi got a Get out of Healthcare card from Obama for the businesses in her district- Unions wont pay for years due to back door deals – keep up the good work Comrad

    February 8, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  3. Sue

    It seems to me that if the republican party didn't have something to carp on or whine about, they would cease to exist! As a former republican myself I now find myself ashamed to even say that. When I voted for Obama in 2008 I was somewhat hesitant, but I did not like McCain/Palin and I liked President Obama's approach. I feel content now that I made the exact right decision, and after watching the outrageous behavior of the GOP over the past few years, I know I will NEVER vote for another republican again! Their actions have been despicable and unwarranted. They are NOT the same party as their GOP predecessors – they have turned their party into nothing better than a bunch of muckrakers!

    February 8, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  4. Tam

    With so many millions of Americans trying to find work, as the Repubs complain, what has their party, esp. in Congress, done to lessen those numbers?

    February 8, 2012 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  5. GI Joe.

    Kind of like Santorum's frothy sweater-vests?

    Except in better taste (so to speak). ha ha ha ha ha

    February 8, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  6. Christy

    I make 42k a year and pay $650 a month on student loans. I CAN and WILL buy that gorgeous Thakoon scarf for $98. How do I do it? I spend my money on high quality pieces that last forever, I ride public transit, I make delicious healthy meals at home. I prefer to spend my money on beautiful things rather than cheap clothes, car maintenance, and unhealthy convenience food. And I will spend my vote on the candidate that supports human rights and the environment.

    February 8, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  7. Russ in Md

    @gran: I give up, why don't you tell me how many GOP contributors to GOP Pacs have businesses they have taken out of the United States to avoid paying US taxes and how many have given jobs to China, Mexico, etc.? Please provide some background on how you came up with these conclutions.

    February 8, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
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