Surely one of the perks of being first lady that Melania Trump was most excited about, being a former model, was the thought of having the world’s top fashion designers fighting to clothe her. Well, if Sophie Theallet, French-born, NYC-based designer, has anything to say about it, any designer outfits Melania will be wearing, she will be buying herself.
In an open letter posted on Twitter Thursday, Theallet vowed, in no uncertain terms, that her designs would not be seen on Melania.
“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.”
In the passionate letter, Theallet, whose designs have been worn by Kim Kardashian, Jessica Alba, and Gabrielle Union, goes on to say:
“As an independent fashion brand, we consider our voice an expression of our artistic and philosophical ideas. The Sophie Theallet brand stands against all 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.”
Theallet acknowledges that it is not always in the best interest, financially, to get involved with politics, but doesn’t care, saying of her 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.”
The outspoken designer’s stand against the discrimination and prejudice she feels Melania Trump represents is in direct contrast to how she felt about her designs being worn by Michelle Obama who she proudly garbed numerous times over the past eight years. Theallet said dressing the present first lady was:
“a highlight and an honor. She has contributed to having our name recognized and respected worldwide. Her values, actions, and grace have always deeply resonated with me.”
Although Theallet is the first designer to officially make her stance known, a silent boycott has apparently been brewing for months. According to one People Magazine source:
“This has already been going on for months. Designers wouldn’t lend to Melania, Ivanka or Tiffany, so they either bought the items themselves or wore Ivanka’s brand.”
This must sting even more as Melania Trump has become increasingly accustomed to dressing in style in recent months. Throughout the campaign, she appeared in outfits by numerous designers such as Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and Ralph Lauren. These were not provided by the designers, however, Melania had to purchase them herself. If Theallet gets her way, Melania will be paying for her designer duds indefinitely.
The designer ended the open letter, rallying her fellow designers to follow suit, pleading, “Integrity is our only true currency.”
This is no token act of protest. The custom-made Versace dress Michelle Obama wore to her final state dinner in October is estimated to be worth $12,000.
Good thing Melania is married to a billionaire.
Featured image via Peter Kramer/ Getty Images