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Politics of Fashion: DVF, Derek Lam, Tracy Reese and Others Design for Obama

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The presence of fashion, art and overall cool in Barack Obama's campaign continues to get ratcheted up. The Washington Post reports that designer merch, which will be available on Obama's site next month, turns up the dial once more with Derek Lam, Tracy Reese, Diane von Furstenberg, Charles Nolan, Isaac Mizrahi and the like on board to create apparel and accessories.

The process the designers went through sounds like an episode of Project Runway. From the paper: "Designers had less than a week to commit to the project, present a sketch to the campaign for approval and then deliver a sample...Designers were free to use the candidate's image and his red-white-and-blue rising sun logo. And while they received no strict parameters on pricing, Reese's original idea of an Obama dress that would have retailed for about $400 was shot down. A one-shouldered silk georgette frock, it presented something of a production challenge, she said."

Reese's applique tee, priced around $80 and shown left, was approved, as were totes from DVF and Isaac Mizrahi, a wrap tee from Nolan, and from Lam "a cotton muslin bag silk-screened with a carnation print from his first successful collection, spring 2004, which he reworked in red, white and blue. It's inscribed 'A fresh start: Obama '09,' and he asked that it be stitched from organic cotton." The Obama campaign is "organizing the made-in-America manufacturing and contracting with suppliers" for the vote-luring fashion.
· Fashion Designers Hope to Stitch Up an Obama Win [Washington Post]