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On Tuesday afternoon, Under Armour’s CEO Kevin Plank called Trump “a real asset for this country.”
Plank joins a short list of retail CEOs who’ve spoken publicly about the new administration, and an even shorter list of those enthusiastically backing said administration and its few weeks worth of controversial moves, which include an immigration ban and a string of proposed border taxes that tl;dr will make your clothes cost a hell of a lot more money.
Just a few hours later, Under Armour hosted a party in honor of Misty Copeland, the headline-making star of the American Ballet Theater. Copeland was named the face of the brand in 2014, and is now the inspiration behind a new collection designed by Kate Williams, VP of women’s design at Under Armour.
While she stopped short of confirming that Trump is an asset, Williams does consider his “Made in America” directive an opportunity for the brand. A Brit who previously designed for Theory and DKNY, Williams responded to Plank’s comments thusly: “I don’t think I would get political over it, but I would say Under Armour as a brand is excited about its own opportunity to make products within its own, I don’t want to say four walls, but within its brand house, within our facilities.”
Williams points to technology available in the US as the thing that’s most exciting for her, as a creative.
“I happened to work on the project that we recently did make in America, and we have such a groundbreaking opportunity in the design process, because we can all draw a picture, right?” she says. “There’s my tight, there’s my illustration, what have you. But now we can flip that onto an avatar, a 3D avatar that then flips into making product real-time, super-high tech — in fact sometimes I’m like, I don’t understand what he just said to me, but it sounds really good — but from a design perspective, it means we can turn product and we can test product and we can make product in enormous real-time. From a designer’s perspective, it’s like a candy store.”
With New York Fashion Week starting this week, more designers are sure to comment on Trump and his policies; from fabric to wages, everything that goes into making your clothes could change with the current administration. Tuesday night, however, wasn’t destined for a conversation about design under Trump. “I think the comments made by our CEO are very separate from what we’re talking about tonight,” the PR announced. “We want to celebrate this evening.”