Christopher Wylie Reveals Fashion Brands Were Weaponised to Elect Trump

This morning, speaking at Business of Fashion’s annual Voices forum, Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie presented evidence that fashion brands had been utilised by the now-defunct political consulting firm to help elect President Trump in 2016. Mining data from Facebook, Cambridge Analytica weaponised users’ fashion tastes – including names such as Kenzo, Nike, Wrangler, Armani and Louis Vuitton – to predict their voting patterns. Those who expressed a preference for American heritage brands such as Levi’s and Wrangler, were more likely to respond to pro-Trump rhetoric. Whereas fans of European luxury brands such as Kenzo, were likely to have democratic sensibilities. “Fashion and politics are almost the same industry, in many regards, because it’s about identity, and it’s cyclical, and people get really emotive about it,” Wylie told BoF founder, Imran Amed. “In psychology they call it an affective response, where you have a gut response. Fashion affects you.”