To travel to Texas for an unannounced visit to a Texas shelter housing children separated from their parents at the U.S. border on Thursday, First Lady Melania Trump wore a Zara jacket with an eye-catching message written across the back: "I Really Don't Dare, Do U?," it read. Many were disturbed by the optics of the situation, and the style—which FLOTUS wore to both board and disembark her plane at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland yesterday—has ignited a fierce debate online. It has also inspired a handful of fashion brands to take action and release their own versions of the olive-green jacket to benefit the communities affected by the ongoing border crisis.
Overnight, Portland-based brand Wildfang released a limited capsule collection titled "I REALLY CARE," with 100% of proceeds going to RAICES Texas, which offers legal services and resources to immigrants.
The product description reads: "Hey Melania. WE REALLY DO CARE! That's why we made this jacket. To say we stand with immigrants. To say WE CARE." An original launch sold out within an hour, according to the brand, but has since been restocked.
"Within a few hours, we decided as a team we wanted to do something," Emma Mcilroy, CEO of Wildfang, tells Glamour via e-mail. "This could not go unnoticed, so we put our heads together and went with impact."
"We started with a limited edition run and it sold out, twice," she continues. "Because we now make the majority of our products, we are able to turn things around like this so when we're passionate about something, we take control of the situation. Our customers have gone bananas over this—the support is overwhelming, and we couldn't be more proud to align with them in support of these families."
PSA (or Public Service Apparel), the brand co-run by Upworthy and GOOD, also launched its own take on the graphic, as part of its Rapid Response/Limited Edition line. The "I Really Do Care" T-shirt is currently available for pre-order, and will benefit the immigrant youth network United We Dream.
Lingua Franca, the ethical luxury knitwear label that has become known for its politically-aligned pieces, made its own hand-stitched sweater. It'll donate $100 of each sale to a charity of the customer's choice.
Stephanie Grisham, FLOTUS' Communications Director, said of Trump's much-discussed Texas wardrobe: "It's a jacket. There was no hidden message. After today's important visit to Texas, I hope the media isn't going to choose to focus on her wardrobe."
President Donald Trump later tweeted about the incident, seemingly contradicting the spokesperson's claim that there was no meaning behind the jacket.
He wrote: "“I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” written on the back of Melania’s jacket, refers to the Fake News Media. Melania has learned how dishonest they are, and she truly no longer cares!"
As to what they hope to achieve with these reactionary capsule collections, McIlroy explains: "We hope to see kids reunited with their parents, that is the goal here. We want to spread awareness, we want people to take action we want you to give all your money to RAICES—they do amazing work!"