Ever since Donald Trump was voted President of the United States, the fashion world has been divided as to whether or not dressing his wife (and future First Lady), Melania Trump, is a form of explicit support for the President-elect who has been called out for his misogynistic and racist rhetoric.
After French-born designer Sophie Theallet penned an open letter calling American fashion designers to not dress or associate with Melania, the debate seemed to be most prominent stateside. So far, Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford said they won’t be dressing the FLOTUS-to-be, while Tommy Hilfiger and Carolina Herrera declared they would be “proud” and “honoured” to dress Melania, respectively.
But with Trump’s inauguration day coming quickly, the conversation appears to be going global, especially after the 46-year-old former model donned a Dolce & Gabbana frock for a New Year’s celebration at Trump’s private club in Palm Beach, Florida. D&G’s designer and co-founder, Stefano Gabbano, proudly posted the image of the Trumps on his Instagram, thanking the mother-of-one for donning his design and hashtagging the photo “#DGwoman.”
Gabbana’s followers were quick to call out the Italian fashion designer for praising Melania, with some even vowing to never shop at D&G again.
“Disgusting,” said one commenter. “Why brag about half of this awful couple wearing your clothes[?]”
Another user wrote, “I thought you were a brand that represents class and poise.”
However, Stefano (who’s never been one to shy away from controversy) was seemingly unfazed by the criticism, responding to comments with quips such as, “I like Melania” and “I [don’t] need an ignorant customer.” He later re-posted news articles reporting on his praise for Melania, thanking them for their coverage (good and bad).
D&G aren’t the only European designers who are more open to dressing the future-FLOTUS, however. At the British Fashion Awards last December, French designer Jean Paul Gaultier told Press Association he is open to the idea.
“I don’t know who advises her or maybe it’s herself, but if she asked me to dress her, why not?” he said.
Interestingly enough, Slovenian-born Melania wore mostly European designs during her husband’s campaign, including Roksanda, Balmain, and, of course, that infamous Gucci pussy-bow blouse, all of which she purchased herself.
In contrast, her predecessor, Michelle Obama, was known for her ongoing commitment to supporting and promoting American designs.
So could Trump’s presidency mean the end of American designers in the White House? Stay tuned.
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