Marcus Wainwright, the designer behind Rag & Bone, was caught off guard this morning when he found out that former president Barack Obama wore his American-made bomber jacket to the Duke vs. University of North Carolina game last night at the at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
As he told GQ, he made the bomber for Obama in 2016 and knew he received it, but didn't know if he would wear it, or wear it in such a public way, almost three years later, when spotting Obama in the wild is a cause for celebration.
"When the news first broke, I didn't really know what to say," said Wainwright, who has spent the day fielding unexpected interview requests.
What Wainwright didn't reveal was that comedian Jerry Seinfeld, former Complex cover star and sneakerhead, is the reason Obama owns the bomber.
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In 2015, Seinfeld appeared in a Rag & Bone spring campaign, and during the shoot he tried on the Manston bomber in blue and liked it so much that he took it home with him.
A couple of years later, Obama rode along with Seinfeld on his series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," and Seinfeld asked Wainwright to make the president his own Manston bomber as a thank-you gift for appearing on the show. Wainwright said the first one was too small—he guessed Obama's measurements—but he tried again, making it in black and personalizing it with the "44" embroidery on the sleeve. Wainwright was going to embroider something inside of the jacket, but didn't get around to it.
"It was an honor for him to wear it, and he looks so cool in it," said Wainwright. "He's gotten some unfair slack for his sartorial side, which I don't think is fair. He carries everything he wears so well."
Wainwright, who has never dressed a president before, said there are no plans to make more bomber jackets embroidered with "44," which has sparked the most attention online. And there are no plans to create Rag & Bone x Obama merch. The bomber will remain a one-off specifically made for the president, but the non-custom is currently available online.
"If he wants some more stuff that's personalized, I look forward to his call. But I won't be capitalizing on the '44' thing," said Wainwright. "There isn't another one in the world, and it should stay like that."