Designers usually can’t wait to get their creations on someone as high profile as the First Lady of the United States of America – some of Jason Wu and Prabal Gurung’s most iconic style moments have been dressing outgoing First Lady Michelle Obama (to name a couple of designers).
But Melania Trump, the new First Lady, has not had the same positive reaction, with many designers publicly speaking out against dressing her for different reasons.
Here’s a round-up of who’s willing to dress her, who’s said they won’t, and the designers who are neither for or against.
Yes: Manolo Blahnik
The iconic shoe designer responded to the outrage surrounding the First Lady’s choice to wear his towering black stilettos on her way to visit victims of Hurricane Harvey. The shoes were, understandably dubbed impractical for visiting a disaster zone, though Trump changed into a pair of white sneakers to land in Texas.
On the Fence: Jeremy Scott
No: Zac Posen
Despite having dressed them in the past, Zac Posen says he will not be dressing either Melania or Ivanka Trump during their time at the White House. In an interview with The Daily Beast, the fashion designer said he has “no current plans to dress members of the first family,” before continuing to say, “I’m very upset with the state of affairs right now. I always try to be optimistic. I think that freedom will prevail. And I don’t dictate who buys my clothing in a store.”
No: Naeem Khan
In an interview with Associated Press (AP), Naeem Khan said that he was in fact approached to dress Melania Trump. He, however, declined where he stated that he did not think it was “right.”
“[Melania] might be a great person for all we know. [However] the values of this administration do not comply with the values of who I feel we are as a nation.”
No: Tom Ford
Back in December Tom Ford said on The View, “I was asked to dress her quite a few years ago and I declined. She’s not necessarily my image.” The designer clarified his comments to ELLE.com while on the red carpet at the Golden Globes, where he asserted that he won’t dress Melania Trump because of politics, but because of “money”.
Yes: Dolce & Gabbana
Over the New Year Stefano Gabbana posted an Instagram of Donald Trump and Melania Trump on New Year’s Eve, where Melania wore a Dolce and Gabbana gown. “Melania Trump #DGwoman ❤❤❤❤❤ thank you 🇺🇸 #madeinitaly🇮🇹” he wrote in his caption. Calling the future First Lady a ‘Dolce & Gabbana woman’ caused a lot of controversy in the comments section, but Gabbana came out guns blazing in response to haters. “So disappointed” wrote one user, to which Gabban responded simply: “I don’t care.”
Yes: Mark Badgley and James Mischka
When asked whether they’d dress Melania, the Badgley Mischka designers told WWD, “We support the office of the First Lady, so the answer would be yes. She’s a lovely person,” said James Mischka. “She’s very attractive and has a great figure. Hopefully, she’ll support American designers,” Badgley added.
No: Riccardo Tisci
Arriving in the New York for the first time since the election results were called, Tisci told WWD: “I don’t agree with most of what [Donald Trump] says, because I’m not racist. I’m actually trying to bring people that are forgotten from society and bring them into society and his ideology is [all] about taking people out.” The designer also bemoaned the President-elect’s influence on traffic in NYC. “One opinion is that for sure, since Trump [was elected] president, there is much more traffic,” Tisci declared.
With these opinions on Trump, we have a feeling he won’t be rushing to dress the future First Lady.
Yes: Diane von Furstenberg
The designer told WWD, “Donald Trump was elected and he will be our president. Melania deserves the respect of any First Lady before her. Our role as part of the fashion industry is to promote beauty, inclusiveness, diversity. We should each be the best we can be and influence by our example.” Interestingly, von Furstenberg is a close family friend of the Clintons.
Yes: Tommy Hilfiger
Hilfiger told WWD, “I think Melania is a very beautiful woman and I think any designer should be proud to dress her. Ivanka is equally as beautiful and smart, although she wears her own clothes. I don’t think people should become political about it. Everyone was happy to dress Michelle [Obama] as well. I think they look great in the clothes. You’re not going to get much more beautiful than Ivanka or Melania.”
No: Sophie Theallet
Theallet dressed Michelle Obama but the same can’t be said for Melania Trump. Theallet posted an open letter on her Twitter account that said, “As an independent fashion brand, we consider our voice an expression of our artistic and philosophical ideas. The Sophie Theallet brand stands against all discrimination and prejudice. Our runway shows, ad campaigns, and celebrity dressing have always been a celebration of diversity and a reflection of the world we live in… As one who celebrates and strives for diversity, individual freedom, and respect for all lifestyles, I will not participate in dressing or associate myself 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.”
Yes: Thom Browne
Browne, a menswear designer, told WWD, “Out of respect for the position of the First Lady of our United States, I would be honoured to be considered to design for any First Lady of the United States.”
No: Marc Jacobs
Jacobs put it simply when said, “I have no interest whatsoever in dressing Melania Trump… Personally, I’d rather put my energy into helping out those who will be hurt by Trump and his supporters.”
Yes: Carolina Herrera
Herrera told Business of Fashion, “I think that in two or three months, they’ll reach out, because it’s fashion. You’ll see everyone dressing Melania. She’s representing the United States.”
Yes: Rag & Bone
Marcus Wainwright of Rag & Bone told The New York Times, “It would be hypocritical to say no to dressing a Trump. If we say we are about inclusivity and making American manufacturing great again, then we have to put that before personal political beliefs.”
No: Philip Lim
“As a global brand, we are always looking to partner with individuals that we have authentic relationships with – ultimately, women and men that share similar set of values, desires and ideologies: inclusion, diversity, justice, consciousness, innovation… With that said, we do not have a current relationship with Mrs. Trump and I don’t foresee a relationship developing under the Trump administration,” Lim told WWD.
No: Humberto Leon
Leon, of Opening Ceremony and Kenzo, posted a link on Facebook about the designers who have said they won’t dress her, adding, “No one should and if she buys your clothes, tell people you don’t support it. You know who you are!”
On the Fence: Joseph Altuzarra
In a kind of vague statement, Altuzarra told The New York Times, “I don’t want to not dress people I disagree with.”
On the Fence: Vera Wang
“We have not been contacted by the Trump campaign or administration thus far. But the first Lady-elect should support American fashion, as did her predecessors,” Wang told WWD.
Indifferent: Cynthia Rowley
This was part of Rowley’s statement to WWD: “In the midst of this heated debate, the question actually seems somewhat irrelevant. She can simply purchase whatever she wants, so how can we control it? Just because she’s shown wearing a designer does not mean that designer is endorsing her, her husband or any of their beliefs.”