Following Melania Trump’s first international trip as first lady and its success both on the diplomatic front and in the halls of fashion, industry gurus might be regretting their refusal to design for the beauty following the election of her husband.
After the 2016 election, media opined about the fashion industry and what could be the end of the love affair it had enjoyed with former first lady Michelle Obama.
“For Sophie Theallet – one of Obama’s favourite designers – the answer is a resounding yes,” The UK Telegraph reported. “French-born, New York-based Theallet is the first fashion designer to come out publicly saying that she won’t be dressing 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 in an open letter on Twitter. “The rhetoric of racism, sexism, and xenophobia unleashed by her husband’s presidential campaign are incompatible with the shared values we live by.”
“I urge my fellow designers to do the same,” Theallet wrote.
“The list of designers who said they wouldn’t dress Melania is long, led by Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Zac Posen, and Christian Siriano,” the New York Post reported on Monday.
But since Trump’s trip abroad, these folks may be rethinking their decision.
“Melania Trump is proving to the fashion designers who said they wouldn’t help her that dressing well is the best revenge,” the Post reported.
“The first lady’s trip to Saudi Arabia, the Vatican, Belgium and Sicily — wearing mostly Dolce & Gabbana — was a fashion tour de force that has forced many naysayers in the rag trade to rethink.”
Not that she needed those fashion icons for a winning tour.
“Melania has managed to look smashing in dozens of different ensembles, from her white Ralph Lauren jumpsuit on election night to the D&G 3-D floral coat she wore in Sicily on Friday,” the Post reported.
Even the Washington Post defended Trump when critics fumed about her wearing a $51,000 jacket.
The Post’s Robin Givhan opined, “Frankly, the floral coat is beautiful.”
“There is a softening, a melting,” stylist Phillip Bloch told Richard Johnson, writer at the Post’s Page Six. “Fashion people are fickle and fake. They are starting to see she is a beautiful woman who is married to the president, and it is an honor to dress her.”
“Deliveries to Trump Tower have picked up,” Johnson wrote.
“Most days, the lobby is brimming with wardrobe boxes delivered for Melania,” a source told Johnson. “Once she tries on the outfits and decides what she will keep, the boxes come back downstairs.”
“Not since Jacqueline Kennedy has there been a first lady who needs less help,” Johnson wrote.
“She doesn’t need couture. She can buy off the rack, and it looks beautiful,” Bloch said. “She knows her size, and she knows what works on her. She luxuriates in minimal.”
“It would be hypocritical to say no to dressing a Trump,” Marcus Wainwright, chief executive of Rag & Bone, told the New York Times. “If we say we are about inclusivity and making American manufacturing great again, then we have to put that before personal political beliefs.”