Melania Trump’s head-turning jacket that she wore en route to Texas has had many people talking; wondering if she was even aware of the tone-deafness the jacket was perceived and if so, why she wore it. Emblazed on the back, with large easy-to-read lettering, was the message “I Really Don’t Care, Do u?” The jacket sold by Zara retailed about two years ago for less than $40.00. So, its not unreasonable for a 48 year old former global super-model who is rarely seen outside the White House wearing an ensemble costing less than $5000 would decide on all days to wear a cheap parka that would be better suited for a semi-rebellious 14 year old suburban girl.
Now, “I Really Don’t Care, Do U” is a bit nihilistic perhaps, but could easily be written off as a flaccid attempt at millenial edginess. But few people know that there is a direct, albeit somewhat nuanced, connection to Mussolini’s National Fascist Party itself.
Take a step into the way-back machine with me, to 1920’s Kingdom of Italy under the draconian rule of Il Duce, Benito Mussolini. The Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale or MVSM, commonly called the Blackshirts, were the paramilitary militia charged with maintaining the brutal internal order of the citizenry. Their motto, Me Ne Frego which was taken from a song and literally translates to “I don’t care”. The motto itself has been reinvigorated by the leader of the fascist-revival party in Italy, CasaPound who’s leader Gianluca Iannone has it tattooed across his neck.
Okay, but what does Zara have to do with this? Well for starters, the history of the name. The official story is that the first store was originally to be named Zorba (after Zorba the Greek) but there was a bar down the street with that name, so the sign was re-fitted to Zara. But, coincidentally(?) the Italian 158th Infantry Division who fought with the Axis powers, was also known as the Zara Division
Add to this that Zara has now an established history of quasi-cryptic fascist and far-right symbols embedded on their clothes.
From a purse with a swastika motif
To more recently, a distressed denim skirt with a very familiar looking frog
Each time, Zara has officially pleaded ignorance. The swastika purse was designed in India and the influence was supposedly from the Hindu esoteric tradition which has existed for millennia prior to the Nazi’s appropriation of it. Except for that the Hindu swastika is typically straight with a flat “arm”, where as the Nazi Haukencruz is always stylized at a 45 degree slant-just like on the purse.
The holocaust shirt was supposed inspired by the American Old West, the word “sheriff” is very faintly lettered inside the six-pointed star. I would love to see one single piece of photographic or documentary evidence which indicates that alternating horizontal stripes were ever common in 19th century frontier fashion.
The pepe-esque frog skirt was designed by Mario de Santiago, an accomplished designer who often goes by Yime and according to Zara is not related to Matt Furie’s Pepe at all.
This all goes to a pattern, in my opinion; and when couple with a pending lawsuit alleging widespread and systematic anti-Semitic and anti-Gay harassment and discrimination from senior management. The evidence seems pretty damning.
But to be fair, all of this evidence does stand starkly contrast to their official website, which does have a decidedly multicultural cast of models.
So, back to the original story, why of all the possible choice of raincoats to wear, when there was no rain at all, did Melania Trump choose that one?
I guess we will never know for sure.