How Does Politics Affect the Fashion Industry?

Glam and glitter aside, the fashion industry is a serious business. The global apparel market is valued at three trillion dollars. The womenswear industry only is valued at 621 billion dollars. Where there’s money, there’s politics. Two seemingly unrelated subjects and yet, they are deeply intertwined- especially in today’s world. If we examine fashion in the context of its historical significance, it is noticeable that fashion is not purely a matter of aesthetics but something much more significant. Fashion has always been a reaction and a reflection of current events. Therefore, it naturally goes hand in hand with politics. Like politics, the clothing is made to persuade people and convey certain thoughts and ideas. So, what’s Donald Trump got to do with it?

The fashion industry has repeatedly been affected by burning issues such as child labour and worker’s rights. It has been reported so many times that the wages and medical benefits are less favorable for workers in the manufacturing plants than workers in comparable industries. The constant pressure and negative publicity surely impacted many small and large fashion brands. As someone who advocated for the raise of minimum Federal wage and stated many times that he will bring jobs back from China, Mexico, Japan and Vietnam, Donald Trump is not only trying to make America great again, but make economy grow again, as well. LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault supposedly discussed the possibility of opening a Louis Vuitton factory in the US last January when he visited then President-elect Donald Trump. After economic uncertainty in China and a terror-related slump in European sales, global demand for luxury goods is bouncing back faster than expected. LVMH sales went up by 15 percent over the previous year. With more than 17 million followers on Instagram, Louis Vuitton is the second-most followed luxury label on Instagram, trailing Chanel, naturally.

Since ready-to-wear is currently the fastest growing category for Louis Vuitton, the company needs to expand. The factory will allegedly open in Carolinas or Texas, with the possibility of expanding current operations in additional sites in France and opening new ones in Portugal. While the company envisions ramping up production of handbags like the €895 Neverfull tote, production of the fall menswear collection — including the Supreme and LV-branded gear — are being restricted to protect the brand’s exclusive image. It is expected that the new factory will provide employment opportunities for approximately 300 US citizens. If this actually happens, it would be the first good thing Donald Trump did during his presidency.

In case you missed it, find bellow a glimpse of a tropical heaven Louis Vuitton presented for men in Paris as a part of Spring/Summer 2018 collection:

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Photo Credit: WWD

Cover Photo: Louis Vuitton