"Integrity is our only true currency."
As we've seen with Michelle Obama, the first lady of the United States can be an important figure to the fashion industry. Things might change when Melania Trump gets to the White House.
Designer Sophie Theallet announced that she will not dress Melania and is asking designers to do the same to protest the corrosive ideals touted by her husband, President-elect Donald Trump.
"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. I encourage my fellow designers to do the same."
On the campaign trail, Melania wore looks from a slew of designers, from Gucci to Ralph Lauren, all of which she bought herself.
Theallet says her brand "stands against discrimination and prejudice," and dressing Michelle Obama over the past eight years was "a highlight and an honor. She has contributed to having our name recognized and respected worldwide. Her values, actions, and grace have always deeply resonated with me."
Some other brands have also spoken out–Joseph Altuzarra told the New York Times, "I don't want to not dress people I disagree with." Marcus Wainwright of Rag & Bone said, "It would be hypocritical to say no to dressing a Trump. If we say we are about inclusivity and making American manufacturing great again, then we have to put that before personal political beliefs."
It's true that designers get unmatched exposure when worn by a first lady, but "our bottom line is not just about money," Theallet closed her letter. "Integrity is our only true currency."