Low-rise jeans, ponchos and bling aren't likely to save the world, but the newest trend to bubble up from fashion-types just might: voter turnout.
Trying to influence young and first-time voters to participate in the presidential election has become the latest cause for the fabulous.
Sean "P. Diddy" Combs recently kicked off a new movement called Citizen Change, which at this point is known primarily for its "Vote or Die" T-shirts.
Citizen Change already has celebrity heft from the likes of Snoop Dogg, Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck (A love of political activism and J. Lo. Who knew Ben and Puffy were so much alike?)
And Combs is promising to send teams into swing states and help revitalize the election by making voting cool. In his own words, according to EOnline.com, Combs said "We're going to make voting fashionable." And to think it was just a few months ago that Urban Outfitter's attempt at being cute -- its controversial T-shirt "Voting is for Old People" -- was being talked about.
Fashion designers frequently make social commentary with their creations. Rudi Gernreich presented a collection styled like military garb in 1970 after the Kent State shootings; Katharine Hamnett voices her political and anti-war stances in boldly sloganed T-shirts on the runway.
But the latest batch of designers are using their roles as opinion leaders to urge their contemporaries just to flex their voting muscles, rather than push a party line.
Declare Yourself is another nonpartisan, nonprofit campaign designed to bring out young voters using fashion designers to add style cred.
Declare Yourself may not have have the hoopla that surrounded the Citizen Change announcement, but it does have three of the strongest T-shirt looks and designers. The limited edition, $20 T-shirts are from Richard Tyler, Isaac Mizrahi and Todd Oldham and are sold online.
- Tyler's tie-dyed tank top has hippie roots with it's "Love" logo on the front and "Be the change you want to see" slogan on the back.
- Mizrahi's boasts a clean, graphic "Vote" shirt which makes clever use of the V-neck.
- Todd Oldham gets his down-home message to vote out with a "Gone Voting" graphic that resembles "Gone Fishing."
One of the most provocative "Vote" T-shirts out this year from the fashion industry is sure to be French Connection's which plays on it's infamous logo "Fcuk" (for French Connection United Kingdom). "As in --- you, I'm Voting." It's up to you to decide if you're more offended by the logo or the fact that it may take a British company to get out the U.S. vote.
The limited edition T-shirts will first be available to delegates at the Democratic convention, then available online for $34 later this summer.
Another fashion retailer, Armani Exchange, joins the fray by joining forces with Marie Claire and Step Up Women's Organization. The A/X T-shirt says "Think Fashion Makes a Statement? Try Voting" and is available online for $20.
Get the message: Vote!