Political Sartoria: Nanette Lepore for Kirsten Gillibrand

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, perhaps emboldened in the era of Michelle Obama, has commissioned fashion designer Nanette Lepore to create limited edition campaign t-shirts.
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Wearing one's patriotism may no longer be relegated to the limits of red, white and blue.

United States Senator for New York Kirsten Gillibrand (D) - perhaps emboldened in the era of Michelle Obama - has commissioned fashion designer Nanette Lepore to create limited edition campaign t-shirts.

The clean white tee splashes whimsical New York icons like subway signs and the Statue of LIberty into Gillibrand's name and is made for adults and children. This is the kind of collaboration that's truly a mutual back-scratching of sorts- a focus on aesthetic speaks to Gillibrand's motivation for fresh, design-centric collateral on her campaign, and we're thinking that for Lepore, the shirts represent her dedication to save New York's Garment District

Lepore has been at the forefront of a months long movement to raise awareness of the state of New York's Garment District and forge ways to save the neighborhood's livelihood. In 2009, HBO released Schmatta: From Rags to Riches to Rags, a documentary that traced the storied and economically important past and present of the Garment District, while reiterating the risk it faces in the current economy. Schmatta is the Yiddish word for rags in somewhat of a sad shape, as in, "wouldn't be caught dead in that schmatta."

Designers, industry insiders and Mayor Bloomberg have joined Lepore's crusade to amend zoning bylaws to enable the survival of young design houses and small businesses that have been forced over the river and overseas by rising rents and thus jeopardizing the city's lead in the substantial fashion and retail-based economy.

And now, the Gillibrand shirt comes shortly before Lepore travels down to D.C. to meet Gillibrand for a special screening of Schmatta for legislators in hope of pushing the cause to higher houses. Meanwhile, the senator will wear her dedication to fashion on her sleeve.

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