In response to designer Sophie Theallet’s announcement last week saying she would not dress Melania Trump (fyi, she has dressed Michele Obama), a statement that encouraged others to join her in boycott, Tommy Hilfiger has counted himself as the first designer to say he would be happy to dress the country’s next first lady.
“I think Melania is a very beautiful woman and I think any designer should be proud to dress her. Ivanka is equally as beautiful and smart, although she wears her own clothes. I don’t think people should become political about it. Everyone was very happy to dress Michelle [Obama] as well. I think they look great in the clothes. You’re not gonna get much more beautiful than Ivanka or Melania,” said Hilfiger when asked by WWD at last night’s Angel Ball charity event, held at Cipriani in New York.
The industry newspaper has reached out for comments on the topic to Diane von Furstenberg, Michael Kors, Dennis Basso, Carolina Herrera, Rosie Assoulin and Thakoon Panichgul, all of whom declined or weren’t available to comment on the topic.
Meanwhile, a small boutique owner in Rye, New York, was upset to hear Theallet was encouraging designers to shun Trump. “The fact that you have rejected our new president and first lady is not only a slap in the face to me as a U.S. citizen, but you have also insulted the true democracy of this country and negated any openness to unite Americans,” wrote Angela’s owner Angela Guitard.
Certainly it’s a sticky situation. While as a designer one might have personal views on an elected official, making products available to members of only one political party seems untenable as a business practice. That said, Hilfiger probably didn’t need to be so enthusiastic in his support of dressing Trump.
Image via Flickr.
Open letter | Sophie Theallet | November 17th, 2016 pic.twitter.com/g1hIAyBmdF
— sophie theallet (@sophietheallet) November 17, 2016