Who knew America’s favorite socialist grandpa could become a style icon?
At Balenciaga’s fall 2017 menswear show during Paris fashion week on Wednesday, creative director Demna Gvasalia paid tribute to Bernie Sanders, sending out an array of bomber jackets, polo tees, puffer coats, and shawl scarves printed with a tweaked version of the presidential hopeful’s red, white, and blue campaign logo. “Balenciaga 2017” replaced the senator’s name atop three red and white lines (the original featured two) on various clothes, lapel pins, and even nails. Taking the Bernie Sanders inspiration even further, the collection featured radical and somewhat kooky take on traditional, very ’90s-dad office attire (re: oversize suits à la Senator Sanders), and new forms of corporate merch (think: the ever-popular hoodie emblazoned with the word “Kering,” the luxury conglomerate that owns Balenciaga).
As the master of logos, Gvasalia’s obsession with pop culture emblems is no surprise among the fashion set. After all, this is the man who created a street-style cult around a red-and-yellow T-shirt bearing the DHL logo—which subsequently sold out despite the hefty $330 price tag—and produced a luxe hoodie featuring a twisted take on the classic Champion logo. Last year, he helped bring the ’90s back with a reworked version of the the Juicy Couture velour tracksuits, complete with Swarovski-encrusted “Juicy” lettering on the derrière.
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Whether the collection was an act of endorsement for the senator or simply a move to attract a new group of customers around age 75 remains up for debate. Considering the current political upheaval, the Georgian designer’s new collection is right in step with his colleagues who have been making political statements of their own through their work. Last year, designers like Marc Jacobs and Tory Burch created chic set of merch to show support for Hillary Clinton during her campaign, while Maria Grazia Chiuri made her debut at Dior with a T-shirt that read, “We should all be feminists.”
It’s unclear if we’ll be feeling the Bern in 2020, but one thing is for certain: These statement pieces are sure to be a hit among the Bernie bros come next fall.
More on fashion and politics:
- Michelle Obama Wore a Jason Wu Dress at the Presidential Farewell Address
- Michelle Obama’s Go-to Designer Is Refusing to Dress Melania Trump
- Tom Ford on Why He Wouldn’t Dress Melania Trump—and Hillary Clinton
We shot this before Trump won, and here’s why we posted it: