When Stormy Daniels revealed a sneak peek of herself recently in Vogue‘s upcoming October issue — wearing a blue mermaid gown by Zac Posen in a photo taken by Annie Leibovitz — it was just as much a surprise to Posen as it was to the rest of the world.
“I didn’t know who we were making a dress for,” Posen, who just unveiled his new Spring/Summer 2019 collection, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. The designer and his team “received blind measurements from Vogue” for a Leibovitz shoot of a secret subject. Still, Posen didn’t hesitate to take part. “Annie is iconic,” he says. “It’s an honor, always, to be shot in Vogue and by Annie.”
After learning that his dress had been for Daniels, he says that “she looked incredible,” and that he understands the importance of the story. “Vogue was capturing and marking something that is going to be part of history for a long time, and Annie captured it,” the designer says. “But it was a surprise dress of mine completely. You know, when you create something, you have to let it [go]. You don’t always have a choice as to how and where it ends in the world.”
Posen stresses that, since he did not know who he was creating the dress for, he was “not dressing her as a political statement,” and that “her wearing my dress wasn’t a personal statement.” Plus, he notes, “Anyone can go into a store and buy anything.”
That’s true even for Melania Trump, who has worn several designer looks — by Calvin Klein, Gucci, and Givenchy — for presidential functions. Her frocks are bought off the rack by her stylist, Hervé Pierre, according to W magazine, rather than by coordinating directly with the brands.
As for Posen, he told The Daily Beast in 2017 that he had “no current plans to dress members of the first family. Right now, I’m staying away from bringing my brand into politics.” (Vogue‘s decision to profile Stormy is noteworthy, considering that Melania has not been shot by the magazine since becoming FLOTUS.)
Still, fashion and politics have a way of becoming intertwined. Posen — who is launching his new collection through a special lookbook shot by Gia Coppola and starring Maya Hawke — says that fashion “is a world that actually has the ability to cross multiple barriers, cultural barriers, and religious barriers.”
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