French fashion designer refuses to dress Melania Trump, urges others to follow
A New York-based French designer has refused to dress future first lady and former model Melania Trump because of the political views of her husband, President-elect Donald Trump.
The designer Sophie Theallet is also urging other designers to follow her lead.
Theallet, in an open letter published on Thursday, writes: “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. I am well aware it is not wise to get involved in politics,” Theallet said.
“That said, as a family-owned company, our bottom line is not just about money,” Theallet wrote in the letter. The letter has prompted a flood of reaction on social media, much of it negative.
Theallet, 52, who has worked in the United States for more than fifteen years, is a regular fixture at New York’s fashion week.
According to a report in AFP, Theallet’s feminine designs have appealed to Michelle Obama, who provided welcome publicity by donning several of her dresses since 2009.
“She has contributed to having our name recognized and respected worldwide,” Theallet wrote of the current first lady, indicating purpose behind Obama’s fashion choices.
“Her values, actions and grace have always resonated deeply within me,” the open letter reads.