The clothing industry's top 22 designers favored by the nation's first lady of fashion, Michelle Obama, are coming together to help the Obama-Biden campaign raise money and put a unique look on the 2012 effort.
Called "Runway to Win," the "special pieces" that will be unveiled this week on the campaign's www.runwaytowin.com site will be from designers like Jason Wu, who drew up the first lady's eye-popping ivory-colored 2009 Inauguration gown, and Tory Burch, whose $495 leather and chain boots the first lady wore picking pumpkins right before Halloween 2010.
"Runway to Win is a collaborative effort of 22 top American designers who have created special pieces, including T-shirts, tote bags, scarves, a wristlet, in support of the president's re-election campaign," said Marti Adams, the Obama-Biden campaign's director of event communications. "The online store is scheduled to launch on January 12. All proceeds from sales will go to Obama Victory Fund."
Some reports say that Vogue editor and fashion queen Anna Wintour helped pick the designers for the effort.
The fashion blueprint was announced on the campaign's blog:
We're launching something new, and a little different, over the next few weeks: Runway to Win, a collaboration by some of the country's top fashion designers in support of Obama 2012. In the coming weeks, we'll be rolling out Obama-inspired designs by everyone from Tracy Reese to Jason Wu to Tory Burch at runwaytowin.com. The details are still under wraps, but sign up for your First Access pass to get updates—and a first look at the new designs. Then invite your friends and family to do the same.
Campaigns have typically offered hats and T-shirts for sale, but normally they are blandly decorated with simple campaign logos. The Obama campaign, for example, already sells clothes, like a $55 hoodie and new "State of the Union Watch Party Packs" for $25 that include yard signs and buttons. The Runway to Win plan takes that whole idea to a new, Fifth Avenue level and is aimed at creating a special fashion cachet for the campaign. [Check out the top political events of 2011]
Many of the designers are MObama mainstays. Wu, who was little known at the time the first lady wore his Inaugural gown, not only designs evening dresses for up to $6,000 but has a special line for Target debuting next month. Obama was recently photographed shopping incognito at a Target five miles from the White House in Alexandria, Va.
Burch has devoted part of her blog to the first lady's style, and has a picture of her picking pumpkins under the headline, "Looking Great in Tory Burch." Neiman Marcus puts her "Connell Boots" at $495 and describes them this way: "Metal links soften this clunky, distressed boot."
Most notably on the list of 22 designers is the first lady's fave Tracy Reese. She has often worn Reese creations described as a collection that "exudes femininty and classic style which is perfect for a lady of any age." For example, the first lady wore a Reese sweater at the 2011 Easter Egg Roll.