US firm rips into Melania's jacket

Wildfang sold its take (above) on the jacket with the words, "I really don't care, do U?" (left), that US First Lady Melania Trump wore during a visit to a Texas shelter housing migrant children last Thursday.
Wildfang sold its take (right) on the jacket with the words, "I really don't care, do U?" (left), that US First Lady Melania Trump wore during a visit to a Texas shelter housing migrant children last Thursday.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, WILDFANG

NEW YORK • An American clothing company is taking a sartorial swipe at First Lady Melania Trump, selling jackets that say, "I really care, don't U?", in response to the "I really don't care" jacket Mrs Trump wore to visit migrant children separated from their parents.

All proceeds from the jackets, selling for US$98 (S$130) each, will be donated to a Texas-based refugee and immigrant advocacy group, said Ms Emma McIlroy, chief executive of the Wildfang clothing firm .

The First Lady's visit last Thursday to a Texas shelter housing migrant children was overshadowed by the jacket she wore with the words, "I really don't care, do U?", scrawled in white brush strokes on the back.

Her jacket prompted a maelstrom on social media over what it meant.

Her spokesman said the jacket had no hidden message, while President Donald Trump tweeted that it referred to "fake news".

Wildfang had its version of the jacket for sale online the same day as the First Lady's visit. Said Ms McIlroy: "I thought, 'Why don't we make the jacket that does good in the world?'"

The first batch of 100 military-style jackets sold out within an hour, and a second batch sold just as quickly. The small, five-year-old clothing company is now taking requests for T-shirts and other emblazoned jackets to fulfil in the next few weeks, Ms McIlroy said.

The furore over the jackets shows the power of fashion, especially in turbulent political times when the public is "so angry about everything", said Mr Paco Underhill, CEO of consulting firm Envirosell.

With the sale of its jackets, Wildfang was more than halfway to its goal of raising US$50,000 for the Refugee and Immigrant Centre for Education and Legal Services in Texas.

Mrs Trump's jacket was sold by Spanish fashion chain Zara.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 25, 2018, with the headline 'US firm rips into Melania's jacket'. Print Edition | Subscribe