Designer Sophie Theallet has announced on Twitter she will not design and dress Melania Trump with her brand:
Theallet has designed and dressed First Lady Michelle Obama during the past eight years, which she called “a highlight and an honor.” Obama’s “values, actions, and grace have always resonated deeply within” the designer. She added:
As one who celebrates and strives for diversity, individual freedom, and respect for all lifestyles. I will not participate in dressing or associating in any way with the next First Lady. The rhetoric of racism, sexism, and xenophobia unleashed by her husband’s presidential campaign are incompatible with the shared values we live by.
I encourage my fellow designers to do the same.
Open letter | Sophie Theallet | November 17th, 2016 pic.twitter.com/g1hIAyBmdF
— sophie theallet (@sophietheallet) November 17, 2016
But she may not be the last one to do this:
“This has already been going on for months. Designers wouldn’t lend to Melania, Ivanka or Tiffany, so they either bought the items themselves or wore Ivanka’s brand.” (That might explain Ivanka’s frequent brand promotion throughout the campaign, as well as Melania’s wardrobe,which seemed to come straight from the e-commerce pages of Net-a-Porter.) The source added, “There was a lot of shopping their own closets.”
Yet, designer Carolina Herrera believes the designers will cave a few months into Trump’s presidency:
And indeed, politics have also been on Herrera’s mind. She recently dressed Michelle Obama for the cover of American Vogue’s December issue. “Michelle has been impeccable as the first lady,” she says. As for Melania Trump, the designer reckons that her colleagues will soon cotton on to the idea of starting a sartorial conversation with the new first lady.
“I think that in two or three months they’ll reach out, because it’s fashion,” Herrera says. “You’ll see everyone dressing Melania. She’s representing the United States.”
To be sure, Herrera has plenty of history to draw upon to make that sort of educated guess. Much of her success lies in her ability to adapt to present industry demands without shifting her own point of view. “We have to be very conscious now, more than ever, in the fashion world,” she says. “Because it is very flimsy. Everything is changing.”
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