Fashion designer Sophie Theallet is urging her colleagues in couture to follow her example by refusing to “dress” the future first lady Melania Trump.
“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,” Theallet wrote, reports Elle. “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.”
Theallet says designing for current first lady Michelle Obama during her husband’s two terms as president was “a highlight and an honor.”
“She has contributed to having our name recognized and respected worldwide,” the designer continued about Obama. “Her values, actions, and grace have always deeply resonated with me.”
“Integrity is our only true currency,” Theallet added.
The New York Times reports, however, designer Diane von Furstenberg’s notion that her colleagues with Theallet’s attitude may change their tune once Trump is actually inaugurated.
Quoting the defeated Hillary Clinton’s concession speech, von Furstenberg said the fashion industry should also “do what we can” to accept the election results.
None of the designers asked by the Times if they would “dress” Melania Trump for the inauguration said they would not, says the report. Von Furstenberg also pointed out that Trump – a former model – may not actually need their assistance.
“I’m sure she knows what to do,” she said.
“It would be hypocritical to say no to dressing a Trump,” Marcus Wainwright, chief executive of Rag & Bone, also considered. “If we say we are about inclusivity and making American manufacturing great again, then we have to put that before personal political beliefs.”