President Obama’s new found support for a Democratic super PAC wasn’t his only play Tuesday for new troves of campaign cash. His re-election campaign also launched a new line of celebrity-designed, “Obama-inspired” apparel and accessories meant to solicit donations from an upscale crowd.
The new “Runway to Win” collection was rolled out at a swanky cocktail-fundraiser in Manhattan last night, featuring colorful $85 tote bags by big name designers Vera Wang and Diane Von Furstenberg, a $75 version by fashion favorite Tory Burch, and a $95 Thakoon-designed silk scarf.
T-shirts by Marc Jacobs, Beyonce, Sean Combs and Jason Wu — who designed Michelle Obama’s inaugural gown — range in price from $45 to $55 apiece. Everything is “proudly made in America,” the Obama campaign says.
(An informal survey of merchandise for sale by the Republican presidential candidates found few products priced over $50.)
Actress Scarlett Johnansson and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour hosted the debut event at Theory, a trendy fashion boutique in Manhattan’s meatpacking district, according to an invitation obtained by ABC News. Obama campaign manager Jim Messina was listed as a special guest.
Contrary to some reports, it was not a formal fashion show, a campaign official told ABC News. But that didn’t stop Republicans from blasting the optics of the high-end display in a struggling economy.
In a web ad circulated Tuesday, the Republican National Committee showcased the designer Obama products with their price tags to the sound of cash register “cha-chings.”
“Watching the Obama Campaign host a ritzy New York City fashion show while 12 million Americans are out of work? Priceless,” the ad says in jest.
An RNC fundraising email also offered a take on the fashion show/super PAC push by the president’s with a spoof of “super PAC” flip flops, dubbed by the GOP as “performance wear for politicians determined to win at any cost.”
The money raised from the sale of Obama campaign-themed apparel and accessories in the “Runway to Win” collection benefits the Obama Victory Fund, a joint account of both Obama and the Democratic National Committee, according to the website.
The Obama campaign launched a similar collection in 2008 to raise campaign cash - then called “Runway to Change.”