Addressing the Democratic National Convention (DNC), Michelle Obama emphasised the need for all Americans to vote, in what was a reference to voters who stayed home in 2016 and helped Donald Trump win that year even as he lost the popular vote. And the former US first lady couldn’t get across her message any better when she chose to wear a necklace that spelled out v-o-t-e. Obviously, people on social media were more than impressed.
The former first lady of the US urged Americans to “vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it” in the powerful speech aired on TV instead of a convention this year owing to the pandemic. And as her electrifying speech hitting out at Trump caught everyone’s attention, people also couldn’t overlook her neckpiece. The dainty gold chain with the four letters spaced out soon dominated social media sites.
Google Trends notified how the former first lady’s fashion choice led to a breakout search in the country as soon as her speech was aired. The tech giant noted in the one hour after the speech, “Michelle Obama necklace,” “vote necklace” and “letter necklace” dominated searches on the platform.
“Michelle Obama necklace,” “vote necklace” and “letter necklace” are breakout searches, past hour, US –
The necklace is the top trending search on all of US Google in the last hour of the event.https://t.co/I0WiP7r7bt
— GoogleTrends (@GoogleTrends) August 18, 2020
Not only people were moved by her poignant message for the Democratic National Convention, they also loved the subtle message she had put out through her fashion choice. While most people were swooning over her choice of accessory, others got busy Googling and looking for answers where it was from and how they can own it.
If you look closely, Michelle Obama’s necklace reads V-O-T-E pic.twitter.com/5V5LfujLnW
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) August 18, 2020
Michelle Obama knocks it out of the park for the win!!!
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) August 18, 2020
Where can I buy this Michelle Obama VOTE necklace right now?
— Jennifer Hayden (@Scout_Finch) August 18, 2020
— Ana Bretón (@missbreton) August 18, 2020
Michelle Obama’s necklace with a not so subtle message: “VOTE” pic.twitter.com/29L9lbl3zM
— Allison Gordon (@alligordon_) August 18, 2020
— Jenna Amatulli (@ohheyjenna) August 18, 2020
Someone find me Michelle Obama’s VOTE necklace immediately please, I need to wear it every day for the rest of my life.
— Amanda Litman (@amandalitman) August 18, 2020
Mom and sister eager to buy one of the ‘Vote’ necklaces Michelle Obama is wearing…
— Susan Glasser (@sbg1) August 18, 2020
I rarely go here, but is it too soon to also notice the glorious styling? The lush espresso satin; the perfect hair; the thin gold hoops; the copper lip; the VOTE necklace (that I must have)? Just divine. Don’t @ me. #MichelleObama https://t.co/nhxC9hGlnr
— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) August 18, 2020
— Vicki Tori Uh (@Vicki_Tori_Uh) August 18, 2020
Love the subtle message on Michelle Obama’s necklace. “VOTE”! pic.twitter.com/4Iqf6gsBIM
— Grace ☀️ #BLACKLIVESMATTER (@GraceMacjones) August 18, 2020
The letters on Michelle Obama’s necklace spell “VOTE.”
If I loved her any more, my heart would leap out of my body.
— erin_writes (@wombat_writes) August 18, 2020
.@MichelleObama’s VOTE necklace is all I need right now.
— Kate Waters (@K8_Waters) August 18, 2020
Okay, can we all take a moment to appreciate Michelle Obama’s “Vote” necklace?! 😍 pic.twitter.com/U4j7LxuF89
— Angela (@anzawose) August 18, 2020
— Dblmint02 (@Dblmint02) August 18, 2020
— Kenneth Baer (@KennethBaer) August 18, 2020
As the search continued, many people found out designers and jewellers selling alphabet necklaces worn by Obama on Etsy and rushed to order. However, CNN identified the actual designer for Obama, saying its custom-commissioned by her stylist from Los Angeles-based jewellery brand BYCHARI, owned by a designer Chari Cuthbert.
I never imagined that something I’m so passionate about could mean so much to so many! The response has been incredible and I am beyond honored and humbled that @michelleobama wore my design. pic.twitter.com/rbkEZ7HUei
— BYCHARI (@ByChari) August 18, 2020
“I had created a VOTE necklace for the last election and knew I was going to do it again,” Cuthbert told PopSugar about the $430 ByChari statement gold chain worn by Michelle Obama. “As we started our outreach, I was honored when Michelle Obama’s stylist asked for one, and am thrilled she is wearing it!”
According to a report by Daily Beast, her stylist ordered the ‘Vote’ necklace from ByChari a few weeks ago, but the designer didn’t know the former first lady had planned to wear it for the DNC speech. “There was a snippet from her DNC speech on CNN and my mom sent it to me,” Cuthbert said. “I couldn’t believe it. Out of respect, I didn’t post it or anything, because I didn’t want to take advantage.” Talking about how she felt seeing it, she added: “It was surreal. I sat at my desk and cried.”
The designer said her phone hasn’t stopped ringing and she has been flooded with orders. Cuthbert said her company—which consists of five female employees—had seen what she humbly called “a significant uptick in sales” in the hour after the speech.
Over the years, Michelle Obama has used fashion as a political statement either through choice of colours or designers. During her tenure, she was often credited for championing small and culturally diverse fashion and accessories designers.