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Barack Obama, Fashion Magnate

Barack Obama, Fashion Magnate
Photograph by Charlie Engman for Bloomberg Businessweek

One of the funnier story lines of the 2012 presidential campaign was Barack Obama’s decision—or rather, campaign manager Jim Messina’s decision—to inaugurate a fashion line that the campaign sold on its website. This included everything from Thakoon Panichgul silk scarves ($95) to Tory Burch handbags ($75) to Monique Pean hemp-and-cotton scarves ($95) to yoga pants.

The unusual idea came from Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour and was roundly mocked by everyone from Fox News and the RNC to (more gently) Bloomberg Businessweek, whose crack art staff designed a June magazine cover done up to look like one of those cheapie free-shoppers hawking Obama tube socks, doggy onesies, and scented soy candles. Undeterred, the Obama campaign and Wintour held runway fashion shows in New York and Chicago, featuring such celebrities as Scarlett Johansson. Press was not invited.