People's fashion choices are one of the reasons Trump was elected

(Image credit: Rex)

It's no secret that your fashion choices can have a psychological effect on a lot of things, like your career or a Tinder date, and it turns out that includes political votes too. More specifically, it might be one of the reasons President Trump is in office.

At the annual Business of Fashion VOICES conference yesterday, Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wiley revealed for the first time that Trump's campaign used data on people's fashion preferences in the 2016 US presidential election. Not scary at all.

He explained that CA used date from 87 million Facebook users, and targeted those who 'liked' certain brands with pro-Trump messaging. Those included lots of American heritage denim brands like Wrangler and LL Bean, rather than more European ones.

'When SCL Group, this military contractor, became Cambridge Analytica after Steve Bannon and Alt-Right billionaires bought it and changed the research that we were doing, one of the first things that they realized was how powerful fashion is, and how powerful it is to understand how people engage with clothing,' he said.

Cambridge Analytica then looked at the brands based on five key personality traits: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. For example, Wrangler fans were less open-mind and more traditional, therefore might be more receptive to pro-Trump propaganda.

Wiley said, 'We used weaponized algorithms; we used weaponized cultural narratives to undermine people and undermine their perception of reality, and fashion played a big part in that.'

He also encouraged the fashion industry to use their influence for good, adding, 'It is up to you if Trump or Brexit become the Crocs or the Chanel of our political age.'

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.