The Fashion Industry’s Reaction to Trump’s Victory

On Election Day, America voted for change.  Based on the national vote, about half of all voters are in favor of the result, and the other half will have to accept the defeat and move on.  The fashion industry’s reaction to Trump’s victory has fallen into a “blue” mood, double entendre intended.

The fashion industry is full of notoriously progressive-minded and creative types. After a contentious election, designers now wonder how to communicate a new sentiment through style and fashion.  One thing is for sure. Fashion reflects the pulse of the people just like a mirror reflects a person’s complexion.  And, these are complex times, to be sure.

Our country has had challenging political consequences before.  In fashion terms, it helped to create the look of punk fashion in the 1970s and 1980s.  Followers of punk fashion have used clothing, cosmetics, jewelry, body modifications and hairstyles to make a statement.  Fetishes, heavy metal music, and gothic style influenced and impacted how punk fashion looks developed.  If it seems that punk fashion has had its day, and you’d rather not have it return, I don’t think we have anything to worry about here.

Still, the fashion industry’s reaction to Trump’s victory isn’t based on the mood of one day.  The punk fashion movement developed over time as a response to other creative forms of expression, such as music.  The fashion followed as a reaction.  People interested in that style were trying then to communicate in an amplified way that went beyond playing or performing the related music.

We really don’t know just yet what will happen in terms of the fashion industry’s reaction to the Trump victory.  Still, fashion is very much about being in the moment.  And, when I say that it’s about being in the moment, I don’t mean that in terms of literally today.  Our nation will be emerging into a new era, heralded by a handful of slim margins in a few battleground states.  It is sure to create a social and political climate that people will want to express.  Fashion and personal style are very natural ways for people to show and tell what they think, feel, and believe.

America’s mood shift will certainly show up in terms of how people dress.  The fashion industry’s reaction to Trump’s victory will be to show that mood shift with sensitivity and with creativity.

Designers were immediately reeling over concerns that matter to them and to the ethos of their respective businesses.  Immigration is an issue for fashion workers and designers, many of whom come to the United States to study.  They often want to stay here to work, live, and to contribute to American society.

President-elect Trump strongly denies climate change, whereas the fashion industry has become very seriously mindful to it and sustainability.  Will there be congressional support for such initiatives if there is no presidential support?  The fashion industry will want to know.

Also of issue is The United States of America as a brand.  How will a stunned global population relate to and receive American fashion brands going forward?  The fashion industry’s reaction to Trump’s victory may now have to include some form of previously unforeseen foreign relations work.  If the president-elect’s global policy is unfavorable, fashion businesses must double-down with sensitive designs and business related reassurances.

The fashion industry’s reaction to Trump’s victory will have an impact on what you wear and how you wear it.  I’ll be paying close attention to see how it all shakes out. Will you?

Joseph Rosenfeld helps successful Silicon Valley technology entrepreneurs and executives discover their personal brands and design their personal styles.  Get Joseph’s free report that helps you know “6 Secrets to Success in Silicon Valley.” Get details about Joseph’s proven program that transforms your life through personal brand and style development.