Trump’s victory on the last elections seems to become a tragedy for immigrants, people of color, women, and LGBTQ community. However, fashion designers, models and bloggers are no less aggrieved.


A case for concern

How Fashion Designers Fight Trump's Immigration Ban

New York is considered a world capital of fashion. Twice a year fashionistas flock there to pay tribute to fashion. But now, with the Trump’s precidency, US fashion world may be put at risk. “The fashion industry has always been a reflection of what America is all about… inclusion and diversity,” told  Diane von Furstenberg. What will happen with it in Trump`s America? Although the Council of Fashion Designers Association made attempts to benefit from new policies, it’s hard to say how tolerable the industry will be. “When you realize your adopted country does not love you back. I have never felt more displaced,” wrote the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund designer Aurora James. “As a woman. As a person of color. As a human.”

Some of the fashion`s non-citizens are anxious now. An award-winning menswear designer Robert Geller, who came to New York City from Germany, wonders how the current administration will affect his business. He has been living in the US for 15 years and seen some of the country`s political turmois. Nevertheless, now he is heavily concerned with his future. “We are having a fashion show, but it’s not the first thing on my mind,” he says. “Who knows what the next step is. I have a green card, I am not an American citizen. I am an immigrant, most people here are immigrants. We have to stand together.”


A Muslim discrimination

However, European immigrants are not so unlucky. One of Trump`s first executive orders in some way discriminates Muslim people. The 120 days refugee program`s folding, suspension of Syria`s refugees and a 90-day travel ban for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen rise concern.

How Fashion Designers Fight Trump's Immigration Ban

Dana Arbib is the founder of A Peace Treaty brand is a Tel-Avivian and a daughter of a Jewish Libyan refugee. She thinks that “people of the Muslim faith should never feel unsafe, stereotyped, misunderstood or attacked, in a country that is supposed to represent freedom in this world. Since A Peace Treaty’s inception, we have employed countless artisans that are of the Muslim faith, and whose artistic talents have resonated with customers in the United States and around the world. The Muslim world, like any other culture, is a wonderful source of talent, artistic traditions, history, and inspiration that should be respected and honored.”

Even renowned designers like designer Linda Abdalla, who has worked for labels like Proenza Schouler and Alexander Wang are displeased. “This industry is an international industry and President Trump doing the ban affects it so much,” she says. “It even affects the tailors and the seamstresses, and some of the best ones come from countries that are on the banned list.”

How Fashion Designers Fight Trump's Immigration Ban

Taxes, taxes, taxes

Another case for concern is taxes. In late December Trump wrote hat he would  impose a 35 percent tariff on the imports of firms that move their production outside of the U.S. “Our industry has been global for more than a generation now. We employ about a million in the United States, and those people are dependent on global supply chains — it’s what makes the footwear industry competitive,” comments this Stephen Lamar, EVP of the American Apparel & Footwear Association. “[A 35 percent tariff] would hurt U.S. companies and their workers to the extent that those tariffs get absorbed as extra costs in the supply chain, which deny the ability of companies perhaps to invest in [research and development] or to expand and hire more workers.”

How Fashion Designers Fight Trump's Immigration Ban

Later, Trump announced even more deplorable news. He said he would impose tariffs as high as 10 percent on imports to spur U.S. manufacturing. “Who can afford 20 to 50 percent taxation on imports? It doesn’t work. For me as a designer, I would have to rethink my strategy, it could kill my business,” says Robert Geller. Such a tariff could be detrimental for many US designers. It has potential to impact the whole structure of fashion industry. Matt Priest, president of the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America comments the situation: “The notion that the United States will produce every single product and commodity known to man so that we have access to it is a ridiculous notion. We’re part of this global system, and there’s been this push by Mr. Trump and others to ignore facts … The rhetoric is not lining up with economic and global realities.”


Is it the end?

Apart from taxes there is another problematic issue.  Many US fashion houses have to rely on factories abroad to minimize labor and production costs and remain afloat. Thus, Trump’s “buy American and hire American” suggestion may cause prices collapse. Huge mass market corporations would be impacted by a significant prices increase. And smaller companies focusing on more exclusive or qualitative items are almost unlikely to survive.

Evidently, US fashion industry may be on the edge in the near future. Of course, companies may sag under new policies by moving their production to the US or passing the extra cost to the customers. But, luckily, many of the immigrant in fashion field are ready to resist.

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