Designer Sophie Theallet asked designers not to dress incoming First Lady Melania Trump, WWD reports.
Theallet, who has dressed First Lady Michelle Obama, sent an email on Thursday afternoon about why she wouldn’t provide attire for the new first lady and asked other designers to follow her lead. It’s unclear if any designers have agreed to support Theallet’s proposed boycott.
“As one who celebrates and strives for diversity, individual freedom and respect for all lifestyles, I will not participate in dressing or associating 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,” Theallet wrote in her email, according to WWD.
Trump, who did not immediately respond to WWD’s request for comment, worked as a model and appeared on the cover of American Vogue in 2005 in the dress she wore for her wedding to President-elect Donald Trump. But during her husband’s controversial presidential campaign, Trump’s relationship with fashion seemed to cool. Vogue and a number of influential fashion designers publicly threw their support behind the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. And, as the New York Times noted, many of the outfits Trump donned on the campaign trail — including the white Ralph Lauren Jumpsuit she wore on election night — were purchased off the rack.
The first lady’s fashion choices are watched closely, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. even has a permanent exhibit dedicated to their sartorial choices. But some are wondering how the fashion world will navigate a relationship with the Trumps. If Theallet’s email is any indication, the answer is not well.
“I am well aware it is not wise to get involved in politics. That said, as a family-owned company, our bottom line is not just about money. We value our artistic freedom and always humbly seek to contribute to a more humane, conscious and ethical way to create in this world,” Theallet wrote. “Integrity is our only true currency.”