“I was asked to dress her quite a few years ago and I declined,” Ford said. “She’s not necessarily my image.”
While the 55-year-old American designer identified himself as a Democrat who had voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election and was “sad and disappointed” at her loss, he said his decision not to work with President-elect Donald Trump’s wife has nothing to do with politics.
Instead, Ford said he feels the First Lady should be dressing in a way that relates to the American people.
“Had Hillary won, she shouldn’t be wearing my clothes — they’re too expensive,” he said. “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. But I think to relate to everybody, you shouldn’t be necessarily wearing [expensive clothes].”
And though Ford had dressed Michelle Obama in the past, he said he only chose to do so for a very special occasion. “Michelle I dressed once — when she was going to Buckingham Palace for dinner with the Queen,” he said. “And that I thought was appropriate.”
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Ford’s not alone in his strong stance — for or against dressing the future First Lady. Diane von Furstenberg told WWD that she believes Melania “deserves the respect of any First Lady before her. ” Marc Jacobs and Cynthia Rowley also spoke out (read more designer takes at WWD).
Sophie Theallet even posted an open letter on Twitter saying she would not be lending her clothes to dress the next First Lady.
“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,” Theallet wrote. “The rhetoric of racism, sexism and xenophobia unleashed by her husband’s presidential campaign are incompatible with the shared values we live by.”
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