Celebs are wearing their politics on their sleeves — and chests.
At the Democratic National Convention in Boston, Natalie Portman joined the likes of Ben Affleck and Jack Black in a pro-Kerry sartorial statement. But when tubthumping “Garden State” on “Good Morning America” last week, she wore her Kerry T-shirt, causing Diane Sawyer (concerned about violating campaign coverage guidelines) to put a vase of flowers in front of the candidate’s image.
Portman’s DNC appearances spurred demand for the Politipunk T-shirts; in five days, the company, which launched July 24 on a shoestring budget, had $2,500 in orders.
The company is the brainchild of recent Yale grad Elizabeth Shapiro, who was determined to make a positive statement to counter the anti-Bush T-shirts popping up around the country.
“It takes more guts to be positive than cynical,” she says.
The opera singer and fledgling thesp targeted celebs that would be attending the convention and sent them T-shirts.
Sculptor turned fashion designer Audrey Roberts is friends with Black, but got the call to design the Vote Kerry T-shirts he’s been wearing around town since early June through the Kerry campaign. When the actor stopped by the home she shares with musicvid helmer Liam Lynch, he was surprised to hear she was working on the shirt for him.
Roberts then designed the shirt to his specifications, eventually making a couple dozen for Black.
“I thought he would give them to friends, but I see he’s been wearing them everywhere,” she says.
Roberts has been running to keep up with orders for Kerry shirts on her audmatic.com Web site.
Affleck, meanwhile, followed his candidate from the convention onto the campaign trail, sporting a T-shirt offering from jktees.net, a project backed by yet more Ivy Leaguers in Santa Monica.
No celebs have yet gone public with pro-Bush T-shirts, but the election’s still months away.