By: Hana Kotb
Michelle Obama wore a white Jason Wu gown for the Inaugural Ball in 2009, and the look instantly became iconic. This year, designers aren’t jumping at the opportunity to dress Melania Trump. In fact, at least eight big fashion houses have announced that if given the opportunity, they will refuse dress Melania.
Of course, there are several other well-known designers, like Dolce & Gabbana and Tommy Hilfiger, who stated that they’d be happy to dress her. But for now, we can guarantee that the First Lady won’t be rocking a Kenzo dress. Here are eight designers that announced they would refuse to dress Melania—and how beautifully they dressed Michelle!
Sophie Thelleat’s dresses have been worn by Michelle Obama since the beginning of her time as the First Lady. In an open letter, the designer wrote, “As one who celebrates and strives for diversity, individual freedom, and respect for all lifestyles. I will not participate in dressing or associate myself 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.”
Marc Jacobs has long been a liberal advocate and an outspoken supporter of Hillary Clinton. So, it comes as no surprise that he will not be on the list of those willing to dress Melania. “I have no interest whatsoever in dressing Melania Trump. Personally, I’d rather put my energy into helping out those who will be hurt by Trump and his supporters.”
Tom Ford told said, “I was asked to dress her quite a few years ago and I declined; she’s not necessarily my image…Even had Hillary won she shouldn’t be wearing my clothes, they’re too expensive. They’re not artificially expensive; it’s how much it costs to make these things. I think the first lady has to relate to anybody.”
While Derek Lam was one of the young American designers that Michelle Obama helped bring into the spotlight, it seems unlikely that he will dress Melania Trump. He said, “While I have incredible respect for our country’s political institutions, I find it challenging to be personally involved in dressing the new first lady. I would rather concentrate my energies on efforts towards a more just, honorable and a mutually respectful world. I don’t know Melania Trump personally, so I don’t wish my comments to seem I am prejudging her personal values, but I really don’t see myself getting involved with the Trump presidency.”
Siriano said, “It would be hard for anyone, especially for someone like myself, a young gay fashion designer, I can’t support a campaign where I might not have the same rights. I just got married. There are lots of deep things that get into it … Hopefully things will be great.”
The brand released the following statement: “As a global brand, we are always looking to partner with individuals that we have authentic relationships with — ultimately, women and men that share similar set of values, desires and ideologies: inclusion, diversity, justice, consciousness, innovation…. With that said, we do not have a current relationship with Mrs. Trump and I don’t foresee a relationship developing under the Trump administration.”
On a trip to Japan in 2015, Michelle Obama looked stunning as she stepped off of Air Force One in a bright yellow Kenzo dress. And while designer Humberto Leon of Kenzo was proud of that iconic moment, he is not willing to dress Melania Trump. In a Facebook post, he wrote, “No one should and if she buys your clothes, tell people you don’t support it. You know who you are!”
While she never dressed First Lady Michelle Obama, Rebecca Minkoff designed items to benefit Michelle Obama’s 2014 “Drink Up” Campaign. When it comes to working with Melania Trump, however, she has a more conflicted view.