Sunday 11 December 2016

This designer refuses to dress incoming First Lady Melania Trump

Published 19/11/2016 | 11:13

Republican president-elect Donald Trump acknowledges the crowd along with his wife Melania Trump during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City. Donald Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Republican president-elect Donald Trump acknowledges the crowd along with his wife Melania Trump during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City. Donald Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (L) and his wife Melania Trump arrive for a campaign rally the Air Wilmington Hangar located at Wilmington International Airport November 5, 2016 in Wilmington, North Carolina. With less than a week before Election Day in the United States, Trump and his opponent, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, are campaigning in key battleground states that each must win to take the White House. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
(L-R) Donald Trump and Melania Trump attend Duchess after party for Chanel at The Cooper Square Hotel on September 10, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Andrew Walker/Getty Images for CHANEL Beaut?)
Donald Trump and Melania Trump attend a reception to benefit UNICEF hosted by Gucci during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2008 at The Salon at Bryant Park on February 6, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for IMG)
Republican president-elect Donald Trump walks on stage along with his son Barron Trump (C) and his wife Melania Trump to deliver his acceptance speech at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City. Donald Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Melania Trump is followed by her husband Republician presidential nominee Donald Trump as they arrive to vote at a polling station in New York November 8, 2016. / AFP / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump (R) and Melania Trump (L) appear before the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri on October 9, 2016. / AFP / POOL / RICK WILKING (Photo credit should read RICK WILKING/AFP/Getty Images)
Melania Trump (R) greets her husband Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump after the town hall debate at Washington University on October 9, 2016 in St Louis, Missouri. This is the second of three presidential debates scheduled prior to the November 8th election. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump acknowledge the crowd on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Sophie Theallet walka at Sophie Theallet runway Spring 2016 at MADE Fashion Week at Shop Studios on September 15, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Fernanda Calfat/Getty Images)
Melania Trump attends Trump Invitational Grand Prix Mar-a-Lago Club at The Mar-a-Largo Club on January 4, 2015 in Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)
U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, wearing Sophie Theallet, in 2011
Melania Trump, wife of Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, waves to the crowd after delivering a speech on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
US First Lady Michelle Obama in Sophie Theallet in 2009

An American designer refuses to dress incoming First Lady Melania Trump - and is encouraging others to do the same.

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Sophie Theallet, who has dressed Michelle Obama on a number of occasions, wrote an open letter sent via email on Thursday explaining why she would not be providing any clothing for the former model after President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in on January 20.

"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.

"The rhetoric of racism, sexism and xenophobia unleashed by her husband’s presidential campaign are incompatible with the shared values we live by," her email read, according to Women's Wear Daily.

Sophie Theallet walka at Sophie Theallet runway Spring 2016 at MADE Fashion Week at Shop Studios on September 15, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Fernanda Calfat/Getty Images)
Sophie Theallet walka at Sophie Theallet runway Spring 2016 at MADE Fashion Week at Shop Studios on September 15, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Fernanda Calfat/Getty Images)
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (L) and his wife Melania Trump arrive for a campaign rally the Air Wilmington Hangar located at Wilmington International Airport November 5, 2016 in Wilmington, North Carolina. With less than a week before Election Day in the United States, Trump and his opponent, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, are campaigning in key battleground states that each must win to take the White House. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

"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. We value our artistic freedom and always humbly seek to contribute to a more humane, conscious and ethical way to create in this world.

"Integrity is our only true currency."

US First Lady Michelle Obama in Sophie Theallet in 2009
US First Lady Michelle Obama in Sophie Theallet in 2009

During Trump's campaign for the White House, there was a notable lack of enthusiasm in the high fashion industry for dressing Melania as designers distanced themselves from her billionaire husband's rhetoric.

Despite the fact that she worked as a commercial model when she first to the US from Slovenia and appeared on the cover of US Vogue in 2005 profiling her wedding, she notably wore off the rack items for much of the campaign.

The white Ralph Lauren jumpsuit she wore during her husband's acceptance speech wasn't provided by the designer directly and the infamous pussybow blouse she wore at the second presidential debate was from Gucci's SS17 collection.

Melania Trump (R) greets her husband Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump after the town hall debate at Washington University on October 9, 2016 in St Louis, Missouri. This is the second of three presidential debates scheduled prior to the November 8th election. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Melania Trump (R) greets her husband Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump after the town hall debate at Washington University on October 9, 2016 in St Louis, Missouri. This is the second of three presidential debates scheduled prior to the November 8th election. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Melania Trump, wife of Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, waves to the crowd after delivering a speech on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Melania Trump, wife of Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, waves to the crowd after delivering a speech on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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