First Lady Michelle Obama at the DNC in 2012 (photo by Reuters); Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley at the DNC in 2016
When I spotted Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley at the DNC last week wearing the same dress that First Lady Michelle Obama wore to deliver remarks at the 2012 DNC convention, it reminded me how Michelle Obama was really the first politico to sell clothing, albeit unintentionally. We all remember how Jenna Lyons was promoted for the exposure and sales that resulted from the First Lady wearing J. Crew. The First Lady has brought exposure to many designers since 2008 and has really given a substantive voice to the fashion community. The Tracy Reese dress that she wore in Charlotte to deliver a speech in 2012, is no exception.
The past two weeks have been fashion heavy on the “political convention runway.” Both Melania and Ivanka Trump managed to sell out the dresses that they both wore. Ivanka even wore her own fashion line, which was a brilliant marketing play. Her brother Donald Jr. wore a tie made by the Donald Trump brand, and then at the Democratic National Convention Eva Longoria was dressed for primetime in a dress from a clothing line she designed for The Limited. I’m not surprised that fashion is front and center in politics, but it has been very interesting to watch how much of a role fashion has played at both political conventions and more notable how the fashion has influenced sales.
On the first night of the Republican National Convention (RNC) the Roksanda dress worn by Melania Trump was trending on social media and sold out within an hour. The last night of the convention, it was Ivanka Trump’s dress that was abuzz.
As people on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were swooning over Ivanka’s dress I was furiously searching websites for blush colored dresses. To no avail did the dress she was wearing turn up in my search, but Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) had supposedly found the dress and it was from the Ivanka Trump collection for only $138. The dress that WWD pointed people to was not the exact dress, which you could tell by looking at the neckline, noticing a lack of a slit and that the dress had stud detailing at the top. Ivanka Trump’s twitter account also pointed many people to that same dress the day after the she wore it at the RNC. This has certainly caused some confusion, but if you read closely it says you can shop “the look” meaning not the exact dress. However, the “exact” dress is supposed to be available this fall.
It will be interesting to see if it is in fact the exact same dress that makes an appearance on the racks of department stores this fall and if it really only costs $138. Ivanka Trump was said to have worn many items of clothing from her own collection throughout the week of the RNC, but the items were definitely customized to fit her and perhaps look a little more elegant than the off-the-rack options available to the masses. For example the white dress from her namesake collection on Wednesday night appears much longer on her than the dress of the same print that is sold in stores.
I hope for the many people who are in hot pursuit to own the Ivanka dress, that it does become available and soon!
Photo from Bonton.com