In advance of the midterm elections, Tory Burch LLC is doing its part to get out the vote.
The designer has created a limited-run T-shirt emblazoned with “Vote” and all of the net proceeds will benefit actor and activist Yara Shahidi’s “Eighteen x 18” youth group and its upcoming summit. Many may recognize Shahidi from her role on ABC’s “Black-ish”and she now leads the spinoff “Grown-ish.” She also had a hand in Refinery29’s “29 Rooms” event. Eighteen x 18 will be rallying young people together from across the U.S. for its #WeVoteNext Summit in Los Angeles on Sept. 29.
Beginning Sept. 18, the $68 T-shirt will be sold in the U.S. in all Tory Burch stores and via Shopbop.com. It is available at toryburch.com.
In 2014, just under 37 percent of eligible voters went to the polls, the lowest level of voter turnout seen in a midterm election since World War II, according to nonprofit VOTE. The designer’s campaign is geared to drum up the burgeoning number of Millennial voters.
Burch said, “Voting is an issue I care passionately about. It is a pillar of our democracy and something we can never take for granted. We need to do what we can to ensure that everyone registers and makes it to the polls. I’m thrilled that our T-shirt will benefit Yara’s innovative efforts to bring younger voters into the conversation. It’s not about political affiliation, it’s about having a voice.”
Shahidi said: “I’m honored by Tory Burch’s support for Eighteen x 18 and our upcoming summit. She understands the importance of engaging my generation in our political process and taking action. The T-shirt says it all: Vote!”
The T-shirt and companion #ownyourvote social media campaign further Burch’s efforts to foster political participation and drive voter turnout. Before the 2016 elections, she penned an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal in support of initiatives geared for making voting more accessible and she detailed her decision to give her own employees time off to go to the polls. She also encouraged other chief executive officers to do the same to help foster a culture in which the importance of voting is recognized and celebrated. Tory Burch employees will once again be encouraged to take time off to vote.
Burch’s connection with Shahidi is not a new one. In fact, their first conversation was about voter turnout, following the 2016 presidential election. The enterprising actress will be spotlighted in the designer’s fall 2018 “Happy Times” video, which was shot by Jennifer Livingston and is scheduled to debut Sept. 25.
Shahidi sat down with the designer for a talk this spring at the Tory Burch Foundation’s first “Embrace Ambition Summit: Confronting Stereotypes and Creating New Norms,” which was presented by Bank of America and held at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York. Their talk addressed voter turnout among 18-year-olds among other topics. Shahidi and her mother also appeared in the designer’s Mother’s Day campaign earlier this year.