As the future first lady, Melania Trump may have a host of labels clamoring to style her, but Sophie Theallet is not one of them. The French-born, NYC-based designer posted an open letter via Twitter on Thursday, November 17, stating that she refuses to dress Trump — and she’s encouraging other designers to do the same.
“As an independent fashion brand, we consider our voice an expression of our artistic and philosophical ideas,” Theallet wrote. “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.”
The designer, whose clothes have been worn by Kim Kardashian, Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union and the current first lady, Michelle Obama, continued, “I am well aware it is not wise to get involved in politics. That said, as a family-owned company, our bottom line is not just about money.”
Conversely, Theallet, who said she feels “blessed” to be an immigrant in the U.S., called dressing Obama “a highlight and an honor. She has contributed to having our name recognized and respected worldwide. Her values, actions and grace have always resonated deeply with me.”
Obama’s values, as she noted, are quite different than those of Trump’s husband, President-elect Donald Trump. “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,” Theallet said.
She then finished with a plea for her fellow designers to also cut ties with the Trump family. “Integrity is our only true currency,” Theallet wrote.
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