The cotton ballot
Darlings, who needs those fusty, bespectacled pundits and confusing polls when the current fashions can predict the Democrats’ next presidential candidate? Finally, some fun data to discuss over mimosas at Sunday brunch: Barack Obama T-shirts created by L.A. cult artist Shepard Fairey recently fetched an average $381.39 on EBay. Wow, you say, but what about . . . Hillary Rodham Clinton shirts designed by Marc Jacobs sold for an average $54.82.
“A couple of months ago, Barack Obama memorabilia and paraphernalia was selling about 5% better, but he really pulled ahead in the fashion wars lately,” says Karen Bard, who is billed as EBay’s pop culture expert. (Brows raised.) Be advised that sales of Lindsay Lohan items on EBay jumped 260% in the last 30 days too. If she makes six more months sober, can we make her a running mate?
Of course, Fairey’s limited-edition run of 900 shirts -- which were passed out free at an Obama rally -- easily makes them more coveted; Marc Jacobs’ Clinton shirts are available at his shop on Melrose Place in sizes medium and large. “We have plenty,” said a salesclerk by phone Friday. “They’re selling, um, moderately.” Oh, dear.
At CafePress.com, where you can design your own T-shirt, Obama merch accounts for 73% of candidate-related sales; Clinton stuff makes up just 14.5%. But it’s fascinating to note that he was slightly lagging behind her until the end of 2007. Wearing Sen. John McCain on your sleeve? Not so chic. McCain-related merch currently accounts for 2.9% of sales.
Sure, T-shirts skew young, which suits Obama’s demo. So -- would Clinton’s fans be more apt to wear their politics on their arm? Nope. Freddy & Ma, a custom online handbag designer, introduced “Vote Hillary” and “Vote Obama” totes in November for $25 apiece. The Obama version quickly became the political “it” bag. And last week, co-owner Amy Pigliacampo decided to mark down the Clinton bag to $10. “We had to put the Hillary totes on sale because we still have a lot left,” she says. “And it’s almost over.”
Read Monica Corcoran’s daily blog, All the Rage, at latimesblogs.latimes .com/alltherage.