A fashion designer who dressed Michelle Obama over the course of her eight years as First Lady preemptively said she would refuse to dress incoming First Lady Melania Trump if asked to do so.
Sophie Theallet, a French designer who is based in New York, penned a letter that stated she would distance herself from Trump because of her husband’s policies and history of divisiveness during the campaign and since being elected.
“As an independent fashion brand, we consider our voice an expression of our artistic and philosophical ideas,” Theallet wrote. “The Sophie Theallet brand stands against discrimination and prejudice. Our runway shows, ad campaigns, and celebrity dressing have always been a celebration of diversity and a reflection of the world we live in.”
The letter further explained the designer’s reasons for refusing to dress Melania Trump.
I am well aware it is not wise to get involved in politics. That said, as a family-owned company, our bottoms 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.
As an immigrant myself in this country, I have been blessed with the opportunity to pursue my dreams in the USA. Dressing the First Lady Michelle Obama for the past 8 years has been a highlight and an honor. She has contributed to having our name recognized and respected worldwide.
Her values, actions, and grace have always resonated deeply with me.
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.
I encourage my fellow designers to do the same.
Integrity is our only true currency.
The day after the letter was released, a fashion website called Fashionista was prompted to explain how they would cover the next First Lady’s fashion choices.
“We plan on having no part in normalizing the Trump family, particularly when it comes to cataloging the first lady’s fashion choices,” the site wrote, New York Times reported.
“As individuals, we don’t want to contribute to humanizing or making light of an administration that poses such serious threats to women, minorities, immigrants and more, and that has so many other troubling implications that we can’t ignore — but that we also can’t talk about in sufficient depth, because this is first and foremost a site about fashion and beauty. We won’t go so far as to say we’ll never write about what Mrs. Trump is wearing, but we’re going to reserve it for strictly newsworthy occasions.”