Star Wars fans started swooning when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wore Chewbacca socks at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York. Trudeau was on stage discussing trade with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte when his nerdy socks were quickly spotted and photographed. In prompt response, social media went into a tizzy over the prime minister's fun fashion.
Politicians generally keep to a conservative wardrobe when making public appearances, sporting suits and ties when meeting with foreign leaders or other formal events. Trudeau is no different in that regard — except Canada's golden boy pairs his dress shoes with zany, eye-catching socks. His novelty sock collection has amassed such viral responses that The New York Times even did a piece on Trudeau's "sock diplomacy."
Take for instance when he showed up to a NATO meeting in Brussels wearing blue and pink socks with the NATO flag emblazoned on them. Or during his interview in June on Live with Kelly and Ryan when he wore red socks with a white maple leaf pattern. Hosts Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest ended up presenting him with a pair of gift socks with their pictures stitched on them. Trudeau's sock diplomacy extends to other world leaders, too: Ireland's new Prime Minister Leo Varadkar gave Trudeau a warm welcome in Dublin by wearing red socks patterned with Mounties and maple leaves. The 38-year-old Varadkar is the Republic of Ireland's youngest and first gay prime minister. Perhaps Varadkar's fun socks were also a way to show the world that like Trudeau, he isn't a stuffy politician who takes everything too seriously.
In a meeting with Ireland's former Prime Minister Enda Kenny earlier this year, which fell on international Star Wars Day, Trudeau wore C3PO and R2D2 socks — so his recent Chewbacca showing isn't the first time he's worn Star Wars-themed socks. Fellow Canadian William Shatner, who portrayed Captain James T. Kirk in the original Star Trek series, was one of the few to express dismay at this betrayal.
"Rarely have a man’s ankles said so much," opined fashion critic Vanessa Friedman for The New York Times. For Toronto's Gay Pride Parade this year, Trudeau marched with rainbow-striped socks that said “Eid Mubarak" to recognize the festival marks the conclusion of Ramadan. The end of the Islamic holiday coincided with Pride this year and the Canadian Prime Minister found a way to honor two communities.
The internet's reaction to Trudeau's latest sock showing ranged from amusement and light-hearted fun to sarcasm and hostility.
Cute socks aside, the Canadian Prime Minister was at Bloomberg's inaugural Global Business Forum to discuss solutions to climate change and ending world poverty from a global, rather that isolationist, method. French President Emmanuel Macron and former U.S. President Bill Clinton joined Trudeau at the GBF, which was held on September 20 when many world leaders were in town for the UN General Assembly. Before the forum, Bloomberg counted more than 50 heads of states and 250 international CEOs set to attend the high-profile event.
Trudeau and the leaders who support globalism stand in contrast to President Trump and his isolationist policies. This year's theme for the UN General Assembly was "Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet.” Trump said in his UN speech the United States bears an unfair cost burden, although achieving world peace could make the investment worth it. But he also emphasized state sovereignty and that he would always put America first. He urged other member states to follow his example in putting their own countries first.
Trudeau, Trump, and other world leaders will have to cooperate and work with their different opinions if they want to move forward with policies to combat global warming, conflict, and poverty.