Manufacturer capitalizes on controversy over Melania’s jacket

June 25, 2018

When First Lady Melania Trump made a humanitarian trip to Texas on June 21—in order to check on the welfare of children separated from their immigrant parents at the southern border—she wore a simple Zara jacket in transit that set off huge confusion and controversy among members of the press and the public.

At the airports in Texas and Washington, DC, she was photographed from the back—clearly showing a statement in printed white graffiti on her olive drab windbreaker. What it said was, “I really don’t care, do U?”—and those who saw it struggled to understand the message she was trying to convey.

According to a report by The New York Times, “’Insensitive,’ ‘heartless’ and ‘unthinking’ were some of the words hurled through the digisphere about the choice.”

“It’s a jacket,” her Communications Director, Stephanie Grisham, said in a statement to reporters. “There was no hidden message.”

However, that’s hard to believe, because although little is known about the FLOTUS, what we do know is that she dresses carefully.

Now, a company is capitalizing on the windbreaker controversy by manufacturing a version of the jacket that has a carefully curated message: The new outerware collection, made and marketed by the feminist brand, Wildfang, puts its own spin on the wording, with “I really care, don’t U?” written on the front of a black tee-shirt and the back of two bomber jackets, as well as a sturdier Army-green jacket. The tee-shirt sells for $48; and the jackets, for $98.

With 100% of proceeds going to the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), the line was created and put into production shortly after the photographs of Melania went viral

Within a few hours we decided as a team we wanted to do something —this could not go unnoticed —so we put our heads together and went with impact,” Emma McIlroy, the co-founder and CEO of Wildfang, said.

According to the brand, the army green jacket sold out in one hour, was already restocked and will be shipped out in three weeks. All proceeds go to RAICES immediately.

“Our customers have gone bananas over this,” McIlroy said. “The support is overwhelming and we couldn’t be more proud to align with them in support of these families.”

Melania has enjoyed greater popularity than Donald Trump since he was sworn in as president in January 2017. Based on findings of a CNN/SSRS poll conducted this week, her favorability rating among Americans stands at 51%. Whether or not a piece of clothing can change her image is yet to be determined.

Over the weekend, the First Lady supposedly let it be known that the message on the jacket referred to her husband, and not to the immigrant children or the media.

Research contact: @wearewildfang

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