Since it's an election year — and a highly publicized one at that — we expect some designers to utilize shows or presentations as forums for taking a political stance. We saw this when Hillary Clinton kind of, sort of had a catwalk moment at Marc Jacobs' fall '16 show back in February. This time around, we didn't even have to wait until the official start of Fashion Month. The day before New York Fashion Week officially kicked off, R13 opened its show with a minidress emblazoned with the phrase "Fuck Trump."
"It was an idea that came up very spontaneously and it felt right, so we explored it," Chris Leba, the label's designer, told Refinery29. "We actually had to develop the silk print very early on [in the design process] because of the lead time, but did not make the decision to whether or not go ahead with showing it until we saw everything together." The print appeared on a dress and a pair of skinny-fit pants. A similar graphic featured on the brand's spring '17 runway, reading, "God Save America." Aside from the expletive, the "Fuck Trump" print wasn't a total surprise to R13's followers: The brand actually teased the bold pattern on Instagram a week prior to the show. (A disclaimer in the caption read: "To all the Trump supporters...#sorrynotsorry.") "Much to our surprise, we haven't gotten any negative feedback yet," Leba noted. R13 will make the limited-edition pieces shoppable on its website in the next few weeks. It's not the first time Trump has indirectly shown up on the catwalk: French brand Avoc sent a model down its Paris Fashion Week runway back in March wearing a Donald Trump face mask, Mashable reported. (Clinton and George W. Bush masks also made cameos on Avoc's runway.) As the political climate gets more heated stateside, brands have chosen to share their political beliefs in different ways and on different levels — like when indie jewelry brand Lady Grey sent Ivanka Trump a note along with a personal online order that informed her that the proceeds of her purchase would go to a number of organizations, including Clinton's campaign. When asked why R13 decided to take a strong stance against the Republican presidential nominee on the runway, Leba simply responded: "We felt strongly that we didn’t want Trump to be our president and thought it was important to voice that." We'd say that message got through loud and clear.