By Macaela Mackenzie. Photos: Getty Images.
Since stepping into her role as First Lady, Melania Trump has managed to make a neutral impression by staying pretty under-the-radar. Despite her well-loved Jackie O-inspired style, she’s still ensnared in a dilemma that seems to be on every designer’s mind: Will we dress the first family?
Christian Siriano just became the latest designer to answer that question with a firm “no,” joining the boycott against the Trumps. In an interview with Time published earlier this week, the designer said he couldn’t show support for the administration by dressing the First Lady. “I think for a while everyone was trying to figure out what to do. Unfortunately, it really doesn’t have anything to do with [Melania], but she is representing what’s happening politically and what’s happening politically right now is not really good for anyone,” he said.
The controversy in the fashion world began last year when designer Sophie Theallet penned an open letter saying she would refuse to work with the new First Family and urged other designers to do the same by refusing to consider what’s historically been a huge honor for designers. The battle lines were effectively drawn.
Siriano had previously stayed on the fence about dressing the new FLOTUS. Last December, when industry heavy hitters like Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren started taking sides, Siriano did his best impression of a politician by staying neutral. In an interview with Access Hollywood , he said, “I think I need to see how it goes, I really do. That’s my diplomatic answer.” Clearly, he’s not impressed with what’s gone down in the early days of the Trump family’s reign.
Earlier this week, Zac Posen also joined the ranks of designers refusing to dress Melania alongside major industry names like Tom Ford, Derek Lam, Phillip Lim, and Marc Jacobs (Badgley Mischka, Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren have all publicly supported Melania and her wardrobe).
Sirano also answered critics who think that the sartorial conversation isn’t a political one. “I think to an extent, it’s important [to take a stand] because as designers, that’s the only voice we have,” he said. As he puts it, the dilemma he's facing is really less about personal political views and more about dressing people he views as role models. “I dress people that I can support and support what they’re doing in their lives. That’s why it’s important to me, and it should be important to every designer, because the people that you put in your brand represent the brand.” Sirano and his highly successful label are all about inclusivity across sizes, races and orientations — working with a public figure associated with discrimination just isn’t his style.
This story originally appeared on Allure.
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