Will They Or Won’t They: 18 Designers On Dressing Melania Trump

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From Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama, the first lady of the United States inevitably becomes a style icon—what she wears, for better or worse, sends a message, sets trends, and makes a statement. Michelle Obama made a concerted effort to lift up the fashion industry, wearing and subsequently boosting the businesses of many independent American designers. As the reality of a Trump presidency settles in, designers are now asking (or, more accurately, being asked by multiple outlets): What to do about Melania Trump?

Sophie Theallet brought the conflict front and center when, on November 17, she posted a widely spread plea to fellow designers to take a stand against Trump, writing that “the rhetoric of racism, sexism, and xenophobia unleashed by [Melania’s] husband’s presidential campaign are incompatible with the shared values we live by.” Since then, more designers–including Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, and Derek Lam–have come out against dressing Trump, while others–like Diane von Furstenberg, Thom Browne, and Tommy Hilfiger–have said they’d be happy to dress the future FLOTUS. Here, we round up 17 designers who have spoken out on where they stand.

Stefano Gabbana: For Dressing Melania

After Melania wore a Dolce & Gabbana dress on New Year’s Eve, the designer proudly posted a photo of the future first lady with the caption, “Melania Trump #DGwoman ❤❤❤❤❤ thank you 🇺🇸 #madeinitaly🇮🇹“.

Tom Ford: Against Dressing Melania

"I was asked to dress her quite a few years ago and I declined. She's not necessarily my image. And also the First Lady, other than the fact that I'm a Democrat and voted for Hillary and I'm very sad and disappointed that she's not in office. But other than that, even had Hillary 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."–on The View

“I was asked to dress her quite a few years ago and I declined. She’s not necessarily my image. And, you know, the first lady—other than the fact that I’m a Democrat and voted for Hillary and I’m very sad and disappointed that she’s not in office—but other than that, even had Hillary 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.” —on The View

Carolina Herrera: For Dressing Melania

"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."–to the 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.” —to Business of Fashion

Marc Jacobs: Against Dressing Melania

"I have no interest whatsoever in dressing Melania Trump. I didn't see [Sophie Theallet's] letter. Personally, I'd rather put my energy into helping out those who will be hurt by [Donald] Trump and his supporters."–to WWD

“I have no interest whatsoever in dressing Melania Trump. I didn’t see [Sophie Theallet’s] letter. Personally, I’d rather put my energy into helping out those who will be hurt by [Donald] Trump and his supporters.” —to WWD

Humberto Leon (Kenzo, Opening Ceremony): Against Dressing Melania

"No one should and if she buys your clothes, tell people you don't support it. You know who you are!"–on Facebook

“No one should and if she buys your clothes, tell people you don’t support it. You know who you are!” —on Facebook

Sophie Theallet: Against Dressing Melania

"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."–on 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.” —on Twitter

Naeem Khan: In Between

"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."–to 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.” —to ELLE.com

Marcus Wainwright (Rag & Bone): For Dressing Melania

"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."–to 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.” —to The New York Times

Thom Browne: For Dressing Melania

"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."–to 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.” —to WWD

Tanya Taylor: In Between

"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."–to 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.” —to ELLE.com

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