"... that they should keep personal opinions out of it and not pass judgment on people who wear their clothes. But over time, society has demanded much more from the fashion industry. It expects Seventh Avenue to be cognizant of its impact on young women predisposed to eating disorders. It rallied against the industry’s lack of diversity. It has pressured the industry to concern itself with the labor practices of its subcontractors and to create clothes that empower women instead of objectify them. Society expects fashion to be philanthropic and awake to the world in which it exists. So doesn’t taking a stand on a new administration and its policies — in the most direct manner possible — fall into that category?"
Writes Robin Givhan in The Washington Post.
She makes a good argument, but I don't know whom she is arguing against. Who says "it’s a designer’s job to simply make clothes"? Is that a straw man?
Fashion is an medium of expression. Of course, designers have the freedom to choose not to attach their works to persons they don't want to be associated with. I don't think we're talking Melania and Ivanka attempting to buy something off the rack in a store. It's a more active relationship, expressive of endorsement. The designers can choose to sit that out. It's a bit sad if designers feel pressured to avoid association with the Trump family out of fear of boycotts and other retaliations. But when something is sad — in Trump times — we just say "Sad!" and move on to other things that work out better.