September 26, 2020
Michelle Obama 'Vote' necklace has DNC viewers voting yes

Michelle Obama ‘Vote’ necklace has DNC viewers voting yes


Michelle Obama wore a necklace that spelled out VOTE while speaking at the virtual Democratic National Convention on Monday night.

Video screenshot by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper/CNET

This story is part of Elections 2020, CNET’s coverage of the run-up to voting in November.

Michelle Obama spoke Monday night at the virtual Democratic National Convention, and her necklace sent a message to many viewers. Obama was the final speaker during the DNC’s first night, and discussed the importance of voting in this fall’s presidential election while wearing a gold necklace that spelled out V-O-T-E.  She encouraged listeners to register to vote and to “vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris like our lives depend on it.” And after her speech, there was such a buzz about the jewelry she was wearing that its designer quickly offered it for sale online.

While Obama never mentioned the jewelry, and the necklace was subtle, many viewers not only noticed but wanted one of their own. As soon as her speech ended, social media users began posting asking where they could buy the necklace. 

A representative for Los Angeles-based jewelry business By Chari confirmed to me on Monday night that the necklace is part of the company’s custom collection, which allows buyers to spell out a name or other word on the necklace. After Obama’s speech, the company quickly added the specific VOTE necklace to its website, priced at $295.

“So many people have been buying it (since Obama’s speech),” the By Chari representative told me in an email.

The catalog copy doesn’t mention Obama, but calls the necklace “undoubtedly our best-selling style,” and encourages buyers to “VOTE your heart out.” The necklace will take 3-4 weeks to be produced, the site says.

The social buzz started almost as soon as Obama first appeared and began speaking.

“Psst, Biden team: Start selling that vote necklace Michelle Obama is wearing and you’ll fund ads for the next 77 days,” Christina Reynolds tweeted.

CNN White House correspondent Kate Bennett was among the first to report that the necklace was from By Chari.

“Michelle Obama has always been extremely conscious that whatever she wears will likely sell out, and as such often champions smaller, less-well-known labels and brands, many with culturally diverse owners/designers,” Bennett tweeted.

Just a week ago, Cuthbert, 36, spoke to Time Magazine about shifting her small company to a work-at-home business during the coronavirus outbreak. Her company has a special focus on mothers, she told Time, and work-life balance was very important to her.

“We’ve been really pushing that message of self-love,” Cuthbert said. “Just taking a little time to yourself, even though we know with screaming kids in the background, it’s kind of impossible.”

If the VOTE necklace proves as popular as it seemed after Obama’s speech, Cuthbert’s staff may have a little less time to themselves soon. “She’s about to be VERY BUSY,” wrote one Twitter user.

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