The fashion industry has been a longtime supporter of Barack Obama. Anna Wintour raised over $500,000 in 2011 for the President and 22 designers are participating in the Runway to Win campaign this year. Earlier this month, Beyoncé professed her love for Michelle — which, yes, is somewhat unrelated, but so cute.
But how much influence does the fashion industry really have on politics? Women’s Wear Daily looked into exactly how much retailers, brand executives, and employees have donated to both the democratic and republican campaigns.
“According to the most recent detailed figures available, in February department store, mass retail and apparel brand executives and employees gave a total of $435,160 to the presidential race, 53.9 percent to Obama and 45.9 percent to Republicans, according to the center’s analysis. Contributions from executives and employees in the analysis included such companies as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp., Macy’s Inc., J.C. Penney Co. Inc., Gap Inc., Abercrombie & Fitch Co., Levi Strauss & Co., Liz Claiborne Inc., The Jones Group Inc., VF Corp., Hot Topic Inc., Ann Inc., Urban Outfitters Inc., Neiman Marcus Inc., Nike Inc., Kohl’s Corp., the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., Ralph Lauren Corp., Limited Brands Inc. and The Talbots Inc.”
The math comes out to $234,600 donated to Obama and $195,820 to Romney, which is closer than we expected considering Obama’s relationship with the industry as well as Michelle’s almost indefatigable goodwill with American designers. But as Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, told WWD:
“It is logical to see a more conservative approach with a focus on economic interests [in favor of Romney] as opposed to social issues driving their politics. Of course, you can’t ignore the role that gay rights advocates play from within the industry, which takes a much different view of the Obama camp than the Romney campaign.”