A week and a half after Donald Trump officially became America’s new President-Elect, the reverberations of that decisions can still be felt far and wide. Not only from the thousands of protestors taking to the streets in major capitals across our country, but also the surge in charitable activism, involvement in local government, and the daily calls to protest this or that brand based on stances they’ve taken about our future POTUS. But designer Sophie Theallet has flipped the script on those ubiquitous calls to boycott, announcing that instead it is she and her brand who will be boycotting Trump and his wife, Melania, refusing to lend her any of her designs.
This is a bold stance for Theallet, considering the designer has dressed First Lady Michelle Obama in the past, but in her open letter posted to her Twitter account today she made no bones about the fact that she will not be fashion to the incoming FLOTUS. In the letter, the designer writes, “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.”
“I am well aware it is not wise to get involved in politics,” Theallet writes, “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.”
And though Theallet may be the first major designer to officially make her political position known, designer sources say she’s not the only industry insider who isn’t willing to help “make America great again” with their fashions. A source tells People, “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.” (That might explain Ivanka’s frequent brand promotion throughout the campaign, as well as Melania’s wardrobe,which seemed to come straight from the e-commerce pages of Net-a-Porter.) The source added, “There was a lot of shopping their own closets.”
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But it seems the Trump family might be able to find a fashion ally or two down the road after all. Though Michael Kors and Tory Burch had no comment on the subject, Carolina Herrera told Business of Fashion, “I think that in two or three months [designers will] reach out, because it’s fashion. You’ll see everyone dressing Melania. She’s representing the United States.” We’ll just have to wait and see if the industry starts to change their tune about the first Slovenian FLOTUS.
What do you think of Theallet’s letter? Do you hope other brands follow suit or should they all be willing to dress Mrs. Trump? Sound off below!
–Reporting by Charlotte Triggs