From CFDA chairwoman Diane Von Furstenberg and a slew of other fashion designers to Vogue, Anna Wintour, Robbie Myers (Elle) and Joanna Coles (Hearst), the fashion industry was fairly vocal about supporting Hillary Clinton. Now that the (electoral) votes have been cast in Donald Trump’s favor, the world of fashion faces a bit of a dilemma — how friendly will the industry (which is pretty much BFFs with Michelle Obama) be with First Lady–elect Melania Trump?
As Robin Givhan, fashion critic for the Washington Post, told Business of Fashion’s Chantal Fernandez (formerly of Fashionista, we see you girl), “It wouldn’t necessarily make sense for fashion magazines to pick and choose what First Lady they were going to photograph based solely on politics.” By the same logic, it wouldn’t necessarily make sense for fashion designers to align themselves against Melania, given the prestige and sales boosts that typically come with dressing FLOTUS. That said, “to date, no brands have issued press releases in a bid to promote her endorsement of their wares, as is typically the case with public figures and celebrities,” writes Fernandez.
A photo posted by sophie theallet (@sophietheallet) on
In fact, on Thursday afternoon, designer Sophie Theallet released an open letter proclaiming that her label and the Trump brand will decidedly not be intermingling. Theallet, who has outfitted Michelle Obama on multiple occasions over the past eight years, “will not participate in dressing or associating in any way with the next First Lady,” due to the administration Mrs. Trump represents. The French designer, a self-identified U.S. immigrant, elaborates, “The rhetoric of racism, sexism and xenophobia unleashed by her husband’s presidential campaign are incompatible with the shared values we [the Sophie Theallet brand] live by.”
Open letter | Sophie Theallet | November 17th, 2016 pic.twitter.com/g1hIAyBmdF
— sophie theallet (@sophietheallet) November 17, 2016
At time of publishing, the post has been retweeted 571 times and liked by upwards of 1,050 people. That said, commenters, like voters in the recent election, are predictably divided. Theallet closes her letter with a call to action: She asks like-minded designers to follow her lead. It’ll be interesting to see whether, for instance, Marc Jacobs and Jeremy Scott issue similar edicts, given their especially strident support for Clinton. Carolina Herrera, Altuzarra and Marcus Wainwright of Rag & Bone have already stated that personal politics won’t come in the way of their dressing the future First Lady.
In the past, brands have favored (slightly) less confrontational methods of affirming their social and political views when faced with Trump patronage. Last August, Jill Martinelli and Sabine Le Guyader of indie jewelry label Lady Grey (a favorite of Beyoncé and Rihanna) donated the proceeds from Ivanka Trump’s cuff order to the Clinton campaign. With her new bling, Ivanka received the following personalized note: “Dear Ivanka, Thank you for your web order! We’re happy to let you know that the proceeds of your sale have been generously donated to the American Immigration Council, the Everytown for Gun Safety Organization, and the Hillary Clinton campaign. We hope you enjoy your new Lady Grey #helixcuff. Best, Sabine and Jill.”
Post-election, Canadian-born designer Kaelen Haworth (you’ve probably seen her designs on Blake Lively) had a generous sale, from which all proceeds went towards organizations like Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, The Trevor Project and more. In order to receive their 75 percent discount, shoppers were asked to choose which Trump-opposed organization they wanted their purchase to support. Talk about feel-good shopping.
[ via Racked ]