Melania Trump’s journey to becoming First Lady of the United States is almost as interesting as her husband’s ascent to the presidency.
Raised in a small town in communist Slovenia, Mrs. Trump always had interest in fashion and glamour. When she was younger, then-Melanjia Knavs would enjoy knitting her own sweaters and donning fashions sewn by her mother, the New York Times reports.
“I always loved fashion. My mother was a fashion designer so it was always in my blood,” Melania told People in 2016. In a photo provided by Nena Bedek, a young Melania can be seen walking what appears to be a runway as a young child. She later posed for photos in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana before leaving the country to model in Europe and the U.S. The First Lady’s modeling chops are also apparent in the steely, sharp look she presents in her official White House portrait, released on April 3.
It was in 1998 that Melania met her future husband—and the future President—at a party in New York. The two married in a lavish ceremony in which Melania wore a Christian Dior gown with a 13-foot train that People says it took 1,000 hours to make.
Aside from the fact that Trump is the first foreign-born First Lady since Louisa Adams, she is already taking a unique approach to the role. Three months into President Trump’s Administration, she has not yet moved into the White House, choosing instead to finish out the year with their young son Barron in New York. The two are expected to move into the White House in summer 2017.
Mrs. Trump remains an elusive figure at the White House, making few appearances and traveling with the president to their Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Fla., but she has shown an interest in calling attention to the plight of women and girls around the world.
Despite reports that Mrs. Trump is dreading her new role, the First Lady has said she is proud to serve adding that she will “always stay true” to herself. Like her husband, Melania Trump seems poised to take on the role of First Lady her own way.