The Vote 4Ever collection (available now on vote4evermerch.com) features apparel, accessories, home decor, pet products and more

By Hanna Flanagan
September 09, 2020 03:35 PM
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Michelle Obama - Vote4EVER Merch
Credit: Henock Dory

On the first night of the Democratic National Convention, Michelle Obama encouraged viewers to vote with a passionate speech and an accessory that sent Twitter into a search frenzy. The former First Lady donned a gold necklace from Black-owned jewelry brand ByChari that spelled out the word “V-O-T-E” while giving a blunt recap of Donald Trump’s presidency and endorsing Joe Biden.

Now, Obama’s longtime stylist Meredith Koop, along with Sarween Salih, has collaborated on a collection of merchandise from ByChari and other Black-owned and women-owned brands in partnership with the former First Lady's non-profit organization When We All Vote to promote the same message: exercise your rights and make your voice heard!

Vote4EVER Merch
Credit: Gary Williams, co-founder of Creative Theory Agency

The first Vote 4Ever collection (which launched on Sept. 9 on whenweallvote.org) featured apparel and accessories from DANZY and World Cup winners Megan Rapinoe, Christen Press and Tobin Heath's brand re—inc, home décor products from Franca NYC and Bright Black, makeup from The Lip Bar, protective face masks from Modiste Collection, custom stickers packets from No Kings Collective and Obama’s viral ByChari necklace in both gold and silver.

vote merch; credit: Gary Williams, co-founder of Creative Theory Agency
Credit: Gary Williams, co-founder of Creative Theory Agency

Now, the second and final drop launched on Thursday and includes another variety of vote-themed merch from apparel brands, Melody Ehsani, Supervsn, The Hundreds, Levi's and Girlfriend Collective, jewelry and accessories from Stella & Haas, Shiffon and General Admission and pet products from Wild One.

vote merch; credit: Gary Williams, co-founder of Creative Theory Agency
Credit: Gary Williams, co-founder of Creative Theory Agency

Home décor brands, Bright Black and Franca NYC, whose products sold out within hours during the first drop, will be restocked in limited quantities in the second release. All items can be found at vote4evermerch.com.

Vote4EVER Merch
Credit: Gary Williams, co-founder of Creative Theory Agency
Vote4EVER Merch
Credit: Gary Williams, co-founder of Creative Theory Agency

"It’s critical that we continue to engage voters in creative ways to encourage them to get registered and vote early," Mrs. Obama said in a statement. "In our mission to change the culture around voting, this project helps inspire new conversations around voting and making your voice heard, especially among young people. My hope is that people are inspired and motivated to vote this year—and that the Vote 4EVER Merch line can help everyone feel connected to something bigger than themselves."

vote merch; credit: Gary Williams, co-founder of Creative Theory Agency
Credit: Gary Williams, co-founder of Creative Theory Agency

Each apparel item is embossed with the words “vote” to reinforce the importance of showing up at the polls — or mailing in an absentee ballot — this election year.

vote merch; credit: Gary Williams, co-founder of Creative Theory Agency
Credit: Gary Williams, co-founder of Creative Theory Agency

"The vision for this collection was to create unique covetable pieces in collaboration with talented creatives and business owners around the country," Koop, who has been dressing Obama for the last 10 years, said in a statement. "With so many 'vote' products on the market, we put a lot of energy and soul into curating high-quality products that are thoughtfully designed."

vote merch; credit: Gary Williams, co-founder of Creative Theory Agency
Credit: Gary Williams, co-founder of Creative Theory Agency

She continued: "Made in Brooklyn, Durham, D.C., Detroit and L.A., our Vote 4Ever Merch brands in some small way showcase the beautiful diverse country that America is."

vote merch; credit: Gary Williams, co-founder of Creative Theory Agency
Credit: Gary Williams, co-founder of Creative Theory Agency

Koop curated the collection alongside Salih, who served as Brand Strategy Advisor of Merchandise on the project.

"To amplify When We All Vote’s mission, we leveraged existing culture and created connection points that felt familiar and personal. To achieve this, we curated a thoughtful collection of brands and integrated calls to actions through tools like QR codes on packaging that take you directly to voter registration — eliminating obstacles to participation and creating opportunities for organic digital storytelling moments that have the power to spark change," said Salih.

[embed]https://twitter.com/MichelleObama/status/1303770960177385472?s=20[/embed]

The merchandise is designed to be "wearable, functional and cherished well past this current election cycle," according to a press release, and many pieces in the Vote 4Ever collection are gender-neutral, size-inclusive, sustainable and handmade.

"When Michelle Obama launched this organization in 2018, we set a goal to change the culture around voting, and Vote 4EVER Merch is a part of that mission," Stephanie L. Young, When We All Vote Chief Officer of Culture, Communications and Media Partnerships, said in a statement. "We know people, especially young people, make statements through what they wear and our hope is that this new line motivates more people to get registered and ready to vote."

Crystal Carson, When We All Vote Vice President of Communications, Culture and Media Partnerships, added, "To change the culture you have to be in the culture. When We All Vote is focused on reaching all eligible voters -- especially people of color and young people. We are incredibly proud to partner with a diverse group of brands to help us encourage voters to not only vote, but celebrate voting like never before."