It’s still up for debate why Melania Trump chose to wear a jacket with “I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” on it. But it’s already inspiring some creative responses.
The US first lady provoked a collective face-palm of shock and disbelief yesterday (June 21) with the Zara jacket on her way to visit a Texas detention center holding children who had been separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border. She shed it before getting off the plane, and her spokeswoman downplayed its significance. But it still struck many as a remarkably ill-considered choice, given that she was going specifically to reassure people that the administration does care about the plight of these families. President Donald Trump chimed in later with a tweet saying the statement was directed at the “Fake News Media.”
The popular online fashion brand Wildfang has responded with a message of its own. It’s selling jackets for $98 and a t-shirt for $40 that mimic the text on the first lady’s jacket to read “I REALLY CARE, DON’T U?”
Wildfang is donating the proceeds to Raices Texas, a nonprofit that provides legal service to immigrant children, families, and refugees in Texas, and says it raised $15,000 within the first two hours of the items going on sale.
Emma McIlroy, Wildfang’s cofounder and CEO, said in a statement that “whats [sic] happened this week in our country is appalling. Our whole team is outraged and we refuse to stand by and watch.” The company decided to do something within a few hours of seeing the pictures of Trump’s jacket, and it chose to donate the money to Raices Texas because it “does amazing things for these families,” McIlroy said.
Wildfang isn’t the only one to have this idea; some are sharing images of DIY responses to Trump’s jacket:
While Wildfang is donating the money from its “I REALLY CARE, DON’T U?” collection, it does still stand to benefit in other ways: The move will undoubtedly help raise the profile of the self-proclaimed “feminist” brand, and it’s likely to increase the ranks of its fans, who tend to not be Trump supporters. In the days following Trump’s 2016 election, the company’s sales took off, especially of items in the brand’s “Wild Feminist” collection. “If that doesn’t tell you that the consumer was sending us one hell of a clear message, then I don’t know what will,” McIlroy told Forbes earlier this year.
As American brands such as New Balance, L.L. Bean, and Under Armour have discovered, there’s little room for companies to remain neutral on politics in the US these days. Wildfang definitely has its own point of view, and it’s making sure everyone knows it.