21/03/2017 11:49 GMT

Theresa May's Vogue Interview: Why It Matters That Our Prime Minister Talks About Loving Fashion

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Theresa May, the first British Prime Minister to be featured in American Vogue, has openly discussed her love of fashion with the magazine.  

In the past, people who have tried to fuse the topics of fashion and politics have run the risk of being dismissed as frivolous, but hopefully May’s interview is a sign the times are changing. 

Shot by legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz for the publication’s May 2017 issue, May wears an array of British brands - from L. K. Bennett to Russell & Bromley - with pride. 

“I think it’s important to be able to show that a woman can do a job like this and still be interested in clothes,” May told Vogue. 

Annie Leibovitz / Vogue

Since it is 2017, and the idea that a woman can be interested in both politics and fashion should no longer be subject to debate, we’ve recounted times when high-profile figures have unashamedly spoken about their love of fashion. 


Michelle Obama

Andrew Kelly / Reuters
Former First Lady Michelle Obama hosts Broadway Shines A Light on Girls' Education at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater in Manhattan, New York on 19 September 19 2016. 

Michelle Obama has never hidden her love of fashion. Since becoming First Lady in 2008, she has actively promoted the work of fashion designers, most notably American designers. 

From Prabal Gurung and Jason Wu, to Carolina Herrera, she’s worn their designs with pride - proving fashion and politics do indeed go hand-in-hand. 

“First and foremost, I wear what I love,” she said in an interview in 2009 with Vogue.

“That’s what women have to focus on: what makes them happy and what makes them feel comfortable and beautiful. If I can have any impact, I want women to feel good about themselves and have fun with fashion.”

Hillary Clinton

Drew Angerer / Getty Images
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during an unveiling ceremony for the U.S. Postal Service Oscar de la Renta Forever stamp, at Grand Central Terminal on 16 February 2017 in New York City.

Last month, Hillary Clinton, along with longtime friend Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of American Vogue, celebrated the United States Postal Service’s unveiling of a collection of 11 stamps featuring the late Oscar de la Renta and his designs. 

Clinton recounted the first time she wore one of his gowns:

“Oscar goes through the receiving line and as I’m shaking his hand welcoming him to the White House, he says, ‘That’s my dress,’” she said

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie attends the Girls Write Now Awards honouring Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Pamela Paul and Juju Chang at Tribeca 360 on 19 May 19 2015 in New York City. 

An essay for about her personal style back in 2014, author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie spoke of her fearless love for fashion: 

“Perhaps it is the good fortune of being published and read seriously, but I no longer pretend not to care about clothes,” she wrote.

“Because I do care. I love embroidery and texture. I love lace and full skirts and cinched waists. I love black, and I love colour. I love heels, and I love flats. I love exquisite detailing. I love shorts and long maxidresses and feminine jackets with puffy sleeves. I love coloured trousers. I love shopping.”

Margaret Thatcher

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Former British prime minister in May 1976 in Germany. 

Even way back in 1985, the first female British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher told Vogue

“I am passionately interested in fashion. It brings both pleasure - because being well-dressed gives everyone pleasure - and it brings jobs.”