Why Kim Kardashian-West wore Vetements to the White House

The reality TV star met with the US president to discuss prison reform, and wore the playful French brand for the occasion. Was she trolling Trump or making a bigger statement?

It was always too big an ask for Kim Kardashian-West- an entrepreneur, influencer and occasional campaigner who has built considerable financial, social and cultural capital on the back of publicity- to wear something unremarkable for Wednesday’s meeting with Donald Trump at the White House.

But few would have been able to predicted she would wear a black suit by the French style house, Vetements, with the brand’s name sewed across her crotch, only visible above the top of Trump’s desk in the Oval office.

Crotch-logo aside, the label is a savvy option. Vetements is a hip way collective, overseen by Demna Gvasalia, a Georgian decorator who is well known within the industry for creating meme-friendly clothes at amazingly high prices, heavily imbued with irony. Simply as his famous 2016 DHL T-shirt seemed to be a comment on global capitalism but went viral as an image, the choreographed image of Trump and Kardashian-West behind Trump’s always-empty desk will likely do the same.

Gosha Rubchinskiy wears the infamous DHL t-shirt on the Vetements runway during Paris fashion week in October 2015. Photograph: Kay-Paris Fernandes/ Getty Images

Secondly, there would always be two sets of photo. The paparazzi one, Kardashian-West’s preferred genre, and the official Oval Office shot with Trump, ready to be splashed across newspapers. Blink and you’d miss the logo in the pap shoots( a style of photo the manner house enjoys subverting) but in the second, with a zoom, you can actually watch the words across her trousers. Once you’ve seen them, the joke lands squarely on Trump- it is, arguably, the sartorial equivalent of doing bunny ears behind his head.

She is said to have meet with the president on Wednesday to discuss prison reform, and the possibility of pardoning 63 -year-old grandmother Alice Marie Johnson. Johnson is currently serving a life sentence for a first-time non-violent drug offence. It’s not her first campaign bid. In 2015, she criticised then-president, Barack Obama, for not employing the word “genocide” to describe the deaths of as many as 1.5 million Armenians in 1915. Kardashian-West’s great-great-grandparents left Armenia in 1914.

Kardashian-West paired the oversized suit with neon heels thought to be designed by Yeezy, her husband’s label- a bid, perhaps, to signal solidarity with Kanye West who was denounced by the left for professing his love for the president and stating they” are both dragon energy “. Getting approval from rightwing news site, Breitbart, it claimed she was channelling Melania Trump, although in truth, the’ pant suit’ was closer to the kind of thing Hillary Clinton would wear.

It would be cynical to assume that Kardashian-West was use the meeting as a stunt or a joke. It would also also be cynical to indicate she was attempting to confuse from the true nature of the meeting, throwing a crotch-shaped flare in the other direction. What is apparent, though, is that one reality Tv superstar was more adept at the art of self exposure than the other. Only Kardashian-West could use a meeting at the White House to trump Trump. And evaluate by his face, he had no idea what was going on next to him.

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