the time is now

The fashion brands urging US citizens to vote in this year’s vital election
Current affairs | 23 October 2020

With the US presidential election mere weeks away, the stakes have rarely felt higher. Even before the unforeseen catastrophe that turned the world upside down this year, few presidential terms have been mired in the level of controversy as the incumbent occupier of the White House.

Therefore, it seems more important than ever that the US electorate are fully mobilised, especially given the uncertainty surrounding access to polling stations during a pandemic. The fashion industry is doing its part, with a host of brands committed to driving up voter numbers and affecting positive change by raising awareness, providing support and partnering with non-profit organisations. Below, we collate a selection of initiatives we feel you ought to know about.

Thom Browne

Thom Browne’s contribution sees the American designer lay down his loyalties in no uncertain terms. His ‘Believe in Better’ scarf is available for purchase on the official Joe Biden merch store, with all proceeds being donated to the Joe Biden Victory Fund. We hope that hasn’t jinxed anything.

Off-White x Fashion Our Future

Off-White are just one of a number of brands teaming up with Fashion Our Future, a newly launched organisation harnessing the voice and excitement of fashion to promote voter registration in the US. Their goal is to help register at least one million first-time voters to head to the polls in time for 3rd November, and with their collection of tees produced in collaboration with Abloh, we’d say they can’t be far off.

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton made their feelings clear from the off, with Nicolas Ghesquière opening his recent SS21 ready-to-wear show with a look that said it all. Pleated chinos and a white, long-sleeve tee provided the perfect canvas for Ghesquière to deliver his message with full force.

Crocs

Why wear your heart on your sleeve when you can wear it on your shoes instead? The latest accessory from Crocs allows you to do just – ideal for those who want to send a message without being in your face about it.

Marc Jacobs

‘V’ for Vote but also ‘v’ for versatility, because that’s exactly what this patch from Marc Jacobs offers. With some needle, thread and a steady hand, you can sew this onto practically anything, or alternatively, go the full hog with the Marc Jacobs Vote Bag – patch included!

Dover Street Market x When We All Vote

Launched at the end of September, Dover Street Market has teamed up with non-profit, nonpartisan organisation, When We All Vote, on a mission to increase participation in every election. Tapping into their US community of creatives, they have produced a collection of 25 individual t-shirts with the likes of Alastair McKimm, Guns N’ Roses, Beastie Boys, Honey Dijon and Hood by Air among others, including our good friend Ari Marcopoulos (below).

Levis

Levi’s effort to drive voter numbers arrives in the form of a hoodie, produced in collaboration with US non-profit Rock the Vote, an organisation dedicated to engaging and building the political power of young people. The release is part of a wider drive from the brand that included a short film featuring Hailey Bieber and Oge Egbuonu discussing the importance of using your vote as well as a dedicated online section with all the info and FAQ’s you’ll need to register.

The Standard

You might know The Standard hotel for their trendy locations and high thread counts, but what you may not know is they have been campaigning to increase voter membership across the US. From postcard templates reminding your friends to vote, to online feature pieces with staff on why they’re voting and scripted messages to send to your State Representatives, there’s plenty of resources to check out online.

Stuart Weitzman

If you’re looking for more of a statement on the importance of voting, the new suede, knee-length boot from Stuart Weitzman will do the job nicely. For this reworked version of the brand’s 5050 boot, Weitzman turned to his head of design Edmundo Castillo, who introduced the VOTE calf-motif with interlocking letters. There’s a metaphor in there somewhere.

Prabal Gurung x When We All Vote

With a simple yet striking design, Prabal Gurung have added their weight to the voter registration drive with this new tee. Fifteen percent of proceeds will be directed to When We All Vote plus, given the non-partisan nature of the design, you can re-use it every four years. Now that’s value for money.

US citizens can register to vote here

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