How Trump’s Economic Nationalism Could Cripple The Fashion Industry

by MR Magazine Staff

In the early weeks of February, thousands of people from around the world flocked to New York City to take in the latest shows at Fashion Week. Over the course of seven days, designers from countries like Germany and India dressed models hailing from Jamaica and Ghana in collections produced in countries like Italy and Japan. The bi-annual event, which is also held in other cultural capitals like Paris, London, and Milan, is the perfect encapsulation of the global nature of fashion. But, since Trump won the election in November, many Americans in the fashion industry see his presidency is a serious threat to their business. Since the start of his presidential campaign, Trump has embraced a platform rooted in hyper-nationalism from his economic policies to his crackdown on immigration, but fashion is not an industry that can be contained by borders. As France’s minister of culture Audrey Azoula recently explained, “populist powers” are “absolutely incompatible with the idea of fashion and freedom.” Historically, we’ve seen this type of hyper-nationalism and the detrimental effects it can ultimately have on a country’s fashion industry. Adolf Hitler’s obsession with Germany’s self-sufficiency was in fact a driving force behind the downfall of Berlin’s once thriving fashion business. Of course, Trump is not a fascist, but there are similarities worth noting in regards to the way his economic and cultural perspectives and policies endanger the US’s $343 billion garment industry. Read more at Vice.