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Truth Social: Fashion’s Not on It … Or Is It?

It’s not unusual for brands to experiment with emerging tech platforms or simply reserve a user name in order to park a valuable social media handle. But apparently that doesn’t apply to Truth Social, as the fashion industry has largely ignored former president Donald Trump’s newly public social media company.

Or has it? A WWD evaluation uncovered more than two dozen Truth Social accounts bearing the names of some of the sector’s top maisons and retailers.

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Most look obviously fake, even to the untrained eye. Profiles supposedly belonging to Balmain, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, Alexander McQueen, Valentino, Dior and more show only blank slates with no hint of branding, behind-the-scenes runway looks or any efforts to grow their follower bases.

Others, like @gucci, @zegna, @louisvuitton, @levis and @versace, do include a legitimate-looking banner visual or official font. In a couple of cases, the account holder admits that the brand isn’t behind the profile. In @gucci’s case, the profile parenthetically offers to sell the username. (The real Gucci didn’t immediately respond to a WWD request for comment.) At @mugler, it says “pay if you want the username.”

The dead giveaway is the timing of when this wave of fashion fakers hit the platform. Apart from @zegna, which joined in June 2022, the vast majority of the others in this tally opened their profiles in February 2022, when Truth Social launched.

That the real fashion industry — which skews liberal — would bypass this channel should shock no one. But even if ideology and politics didn’t factor in, the business benefit isn’t at all evident, as ads on the platform tend to come from fringe businesses or those hocking fake merchandise. Few major brands of any kind, fashion or otherwise, have tied themselves to the platform and its controversial rhetoric.

The latest numbers tell that tale as well: New filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission reportedly show that Truth Social lost $58.2 million in 2023. The news, which broke Monday, erased $4 billion in the valuation since parent company Trump Media & Technology Group went public last week. Shares plummeted more than 20 percent after the disclosure.

In 2022, the year the platform opened — and the fake fashion movement blanketed the network — Truth Social made just $1.47 million. Revenue improved over the following year, but at $4.1 million, it still amounts to Elon Musk’s pocket change. According to its SEC filings, TMTG pulled off $50.5 million in profit in 2022, but despite more than doubling its revenue in 2023, still wound up with the mammoth loss.

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