Well, this is one way to take big money out of politics.
The proprietor of a Park Slope home-goods store is selling a line of T-shirts supporting Hillary Clinton, kicking in $1 from the sale of each $28 tee to the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate’s campaign.
The Fifth Avenue fashionista acknowledges supporters could take more of their money directly to the candidate’s own merchandise store, but says the presidential hopeful’s clothing range isn’t as stylish as hers.
“They’re very attractive shirts and the designs are very simple and a lot of political T-shirts are just unattractive or look like an athletic jersey as opposed to something fashion conscious,” said Susie Kurkowski, a six-year Park Slope resident and owner of Items of Interest between Bergen Street and St. Marks Avenue. “Customers who have come into the store have said, ‘we really don’t like those designs.’ They’re just not resonating with them.”
Kurkowski says she designed her line of tees in the days leading up to the New York Democratic Primary in April, largely in response to all the Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vermont) mania that was sweeping the borough.
“I didn’t think Bernie was going to win in New York, but there was so much Bernie hype that I though I better do something,” she said.
In order to take the Vermont socialist down a notch, Kurkowski printed out 30 shirts with slogans including the perennial favorite “Hill Yeah!” “Hilladeplphia,” and “Vote for the Girl,” a phrase she penned with her new product in mind.
That limited first run sold out in three days, and Items of Interest has since hawked more than 300 of the shirts, and has a whopping 750 more coming, according to Kurkowski.
In addition to tees, she is offering tank tops, tank dresses, and even “Vote for the Girl” onesies for babies and tutu shirts for politically active toddlers.
The proprietor says she’s proud to be doing her part to send Clinton to the White House, but she’s optimistic other female political candidates will use her tees to get an edge on their male opponents.
Kurkowski plans on marketing them to people running political fund-raisers, with the option to have the name of interested organizations and candidates printed alongside the catchy slogans.
“I want people to feel they can use the shirt for their fund-raising as well,” said Kurkowski. “‘Vote for the girl’ could be used for other female candidates.”
And if Clinton wanted to take advantage of Kurkowski’s dapper duds ads, she’s welcome to them.
“I think ‘vote for the girl’ is a perfect message, and if she wants to put it on her store I’d be happy to do that,” she said. “I don’t want people to think I’m detracting from her campaign — we’re adding to it.”
Park Slope is a stronghold of support for the former secretary of state, according to campaign data — 10,158 residents turned out to vote for Clinton in April’s Democratic primary, versus 7,502 for Sanders.
Residents of the 11215 have contributed $370,303 directly to her campaign, while only one person in the entire zip code has given any cash to the Donald — $204.
A Clinton campaign spokesman did not return a request for comment.
Items of Interest [60 Fifth Ave. between Bergen Street and St. Marks Avenue in Park Slope, (718) 404–9185, www.items