Ever since Sophie Theallet penned an open letter in January claiming that she would refuse to dress first lady Melania Trump, other fashion designers have been asked to weigh in too. While many have chosen to keep quiet on the matter, those who have given their opinions so far seem to be split. Some have sided in favor of Trump, adding what an honor it would be to dress Melania. However, a few seem to have echoed Theallet's sentiments, making it clear they are simply not interested in dressing the Trump family now that they're in the White House.
Here's what 19 designers have said so far about dressing FLOTUS:
1. Gucci's Creative Director, Alessandro Michele (The Washington Post)
"We have all kinds of customers. Everybody is free to do what they want," he said of both Melania and Kellyanne Conway buying his garments off the rack. "To be against something or someone, it's a dangerous thing. It's easy to be against your enemy, but if you give them a big hug..."
2. Christian Siriano (TIME)
"I don't think I would [dress Melania Trump]. I think for a while everyone was trying to figure out what to do. Unfortunately, it really doesn't have anything to do with her, but she is representing what's happening politically and what's happening politically right now is not really good for anyone. I think to an extent, it's important [that designers speak out about this], that's the only voice we have. But it's not just her. If I got a call from somebody tomorrow that was, say, a musician, who was all over Twitter or Instagram hate-bashing people, I wouldn't dress her either. I dress people that I can support. ... 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."
3. Zac Posen (The Daily Beast)
"[I have] no current plans to dress members of the first family. Right now, I'm staying away from bringing my brand into politics. There are issues that are being questioned that are fundamentally upsetting to me - deeply: LGBT rights, immigration, funding for the arts, Planned Parenthood, and women's rights. These are just issues that are very close to my heart, and I use my own private voice and funds to fight for them and in support of them. I think it's important to use your voice. I think that every brand and person has a right to be vocal. ... I am very upset with the state of affairs right now. I always try to be optimistic. I think freedom will prevail. And I don't dictate who buys my clothing in a store."
4. Sophie Theallet (Twitter)
"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."
5. Tommy Hilfiger (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."
6. Tom Ford (The View)
"I was asked to dress [Melania Trump] quite a few years ago and I declined. She’s not necessarily my image ... Even had Hillary [Clinton] won, she shouldn't be wearing my clothes. They're too expensive. And I don't mean that in a bad way, they're not artificially expensive. It's how much it costs to make these things. But I think to relate to everybody, you shouldn't necessarily [wear such expensive clothes]."
7. Carolina Herrera (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."
8. Diane von Furstenberg (WWD)
"Melania deserves the respect of any first lady before her. Our role as part of the fashion industry is to promote beauty, inclusiveness, diversity."
9. Marc Jacobs (WWD)
"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 [Donald] Trump and his supporters."
10. Joseph Altuzarra (The New York Times)
"I don’t want to not dress people I disagree with."
11. Thom Browne (WWD)
"Out of respect for the position of the first lady of our United States, I would be honored to be considered to design for any first lady of the United States."
12. Marcus Wainwright, Rag & Bone (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."
13. Cynthia Rowley (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. Checking someone’s ethical beliefs before they’re allowed to purchase, sets up an exclusionary dynamic that feeds into the exact mentality that is preventing us from moving forward in a positive direction. Some people say fashion and politics should never mix, but when given the choice, I think you should address and dress your conscience."
14. Phillip Lim (WWD)
"It’s been such an emotional roller coaster of an election process. The result has only confirmed my belief that we must stand for what we represent as a brand, so my sentiment is still the same. 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."
15. Humberto Leon, Kenzo and Opening Ceremony (Facebook)
"No one should and if she buys your clothes, tell people you don’t support it. You know who you are!"
16. Derek Lam (WWD)
"[While] I have incredible respect for our country’s political institutions, I find it challenging to be personally involved in dressing the new first lady. I would rather concentrate my energies on efforts towards a more just, honorable, and a mutually respectful world. I don’t know Melania Trump personally, so I don’t wish my comments to seem I am prejudging her personal values, but I really don’t see myself getting involved with the Trump presidency."
17. Vera Wang (WWD)
"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."
18. Naeem Khan (Elle.com)
"I'm not a politician, I'm a fashion designer - but I do have a point of view and I do have loyalty. I really care for the values of our country and I feel like there's something missing in the new administration. I am very skeptical and I'm afraid of where it's going. But, I think we have to see."
19. Tanya Taylor (Elle.com)
"Well, when we have an opportunity to dress anyone, we're selective. I tend to like to support women that I personally support - even when it comes to actresses or musicians. I think there needs to be a reason why you are dressing them outside of their title. That's really why Michelle Obama was really exciting, so I think that I want to give it some time. I feel like they're not in office yet, maybe [...] she will do something that is really meaningful and then you can reevaluate it. I think right now it's a little bit too soon to call."
Designers who have so far declined to comment on whether they will dress Trump include Jason Wu, Prabal Gurung, Narciso Rodriguez, Barbar Tfank, and Michael Kors.
Follow Gina on Twitter.
You Might Also Like