Ever since designer Sophie Theallet penned an open letter, earlier in November, claiming that she would refuse to dress the next US first lady Melania Trump, many fashion designers have been asked to follow suit and speak out on whether or not they agree.
While most designers have chosen to keep quiet on the matter, however, there are still some who share Theallet’s sentiments; making it clear they are simply not interested in dressing the Trump family once they make it to the White House.
Here are what 14 renowned designers have said so far about dressing Melania Trump.
1. Sophie Theallet via 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.’
2. Tommy Hilfiger via 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.’
3. Tom Ford via 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].’
4. Carolina Herrera via 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.’
5. Diane von Furstenberg via 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.’
6. Marc Jacobs via 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.’
7. Joseph Altuzarra via The New York Times
‘I don’t want to not dress people I disagree with.’
8. Thom Browne via 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.’
9. Marcus Wainwright via 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.’
10. Cynthia Rowley via 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.’
11. Phillip Lim via 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.’
12. Kenzo Takada via Facebook
‘No one should and if she buys your clothes, tell people you don’t support it. You know who you are!’
13. Derek Lam via 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.’
14. Vera Wang via 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.’
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