24 Designers On Dressing Melania Trump

Dolce & Gabbana are for, Marc Jacobs not so much

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A First Lady's fashion endorsement can be a career-making achievement. Michelle Obama, for example, played a hand in boosting the careers of a long list of designers, including Jason Wu and Tracy Reese. But the jury is out on Melania Trump. While the Roksanda dress she wore to give her big convention speech sold out on the site from which she bought it, Net-A-Porter.com (retailing at a hefty £1,395), the fashion world hasn't exactly been lining up to work with her.

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In the wake of the elections, designer Sophie Theallet kicked off the debate when she became the first to take a stand against the Trumps. Theallet penned an open letter discussing her decision on not dressing the new first lady stating "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."

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Since Theallet's open views, many designers including Diane Von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs and Jeremy Scott have weighed in. Meanwhile, this week, Stefano Gabbana praised Trump on Instagram after she wore a Dolce & Gabbana dress on New Year's Eve. With Inauguration Day just weeks away, we've put together a handy list outlining where everyone stands.

Stefano Gabbana

'Melania Trump #DGwoman thank you #madeinitaly' [Instagram]

Marc Jacobs

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'Personally, I'd rather put my energy into helping those who will be hurt by [Donald] Trump and his supporters' [WWD]

Derek Lam

'I find it challenging to be personally involved in dressing the new First Lady. I would rather concentrate my energies on efforts towards a more just, honorable, and a mutually respectful world.' [WWD]

Sophie Theallet

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'As one who celebrates and strives for diversity, individual freedom, and respect for all lifestyles. I will not participate in dressing or associate myself 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.' [Instagram]

Tom Ford

'I was asked to dress her quite a few years ago and I declined. She's not necessarily my image … The First Lady — other than the fact that I'm a Democrat and voted for Hillary and very sad and disappointed that she's not in office — even had Hillary won, she shouldn't be wearing my clothes. They're too expensive. And I don't mean this in a bad way. [She needs] to relate to everybody.' [The View]

Phillip Lim

'Ultimately, women and men that share similar set of values, desires and ideologies: inclusion, diversity, justice, consciousness, innovation … With that said, we do not have a current relationship with Mrs. Trump and I don't foresee a relationship developing under the Trump administration.' [WWD]

Humberto Leon, Kenzo and Opening Ceremony

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'No one should, and if she buys your clothes, tell people you don't support it. You know who you are!' [Facebook]

Jean Paul Gaultier

'It's not my objective but why not?' [Us Weekly]

Tommy Hilfiger

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'I think Melania is a very beautiful woman and I think any designer should be proud to dress her.' [WWD]

Diane Von Furstenberg

'Donald Trump was elected and he will be our president. Melania deserves the respect of any first lady before her. Our role as part of the fashion industry is to promote beauty, inclusiveness, diversity. We should each be the best we can be and influence by our example.' [WWD]

Marcus Wainwright, Rag & Bone

'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.' [NYT]

Thom Browne

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'Out of respect for the position of the First Lady of our United States, I would be honored to be considered to design for any First Lady of the United States.' [WWD]

Carolina Herrera

'I think that in two or three months they'll reach out, because it's fashion. You'll see everyone dressing Melania. She's representing the United States.' [The BoF]

Naeem Khan

'I'm not a politician, I'm a fashion designer—but I do have a point of view and I do have loyalty. I really care for the values of our country and I feel like there's something missing in the new administration. I am very skeptical and I'm afraid of where it's going. But, I think we have to see.' [ELLE U.S.]

Tanya Taylor

'Well, when we have an opportunity to dress anyone, we're selective. I tend to like to support women that I personally support—even when it comes to actresses or musicians. I think there needs to be a reason why you are dressing them outside of their title. That's really why Michelle Obama was really exciting, so I think that I want to give it some time. I feel like they're not in office yet, maybe [...] she will do something that is really meaningful and then you can reevaluate it. I think right now it's a little bit too soon to call.' [ELLE U.S.]

Cynthia Rowley

'Just because she's shown wearing a designer does not mean that designer is endorsing her, her husband or any of their beliefs. Checking someone's ethical beliefs before they're allowed to purchase, sets up an exclusionary dynamic that feeds into the exact mentality that is preventing us from moving forward in a positive direction. Some people say fashion and politics should never mix, but when given the choice, I think you should address and dress your conscience.' [WWD]

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Vera Wang

'We have not been contacted by the Trump campaign or administration thus far. But the first lady–elect should support American fashion, as did her predecessors.' [WWD]

Tracy Reese

'I don't believe in a negative approach. I'll put it that way. It's easy enough to abstain or whatever, but I don't believe in taking a negative approach. It's a free country—or it used to be.' [ELLE U.S.]

Joseph Altuzarra

'I don't want to not dress people I disagree with.' [NYT]

Michael Kors

'That's none of my business.' [The Cut]

Rebecca Minkoff

'I don't know. I'm conflicted about it. I have yet to dress a president, so I don't have hopes that I will. But to me, to each their own. We had already designed a whole range of safety-pin items, prior to them becoming symbolic, and so then we made an announcement that we are donating 100 percent of the proceeds to the ACLU.' [The Cut]

Donna Karan

'There's nothing you can ask me! I believe in Hillary. I believe in everything about the Clintons. I adore them. I've been with them since the beginning when he [Bill] first became president. I support the Clinton Global Initiative. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't be doing what I do today, which is conscious consumerism. I think he's created an inspiration for me that I could not be who I was today had it not been for the Clintons. And! She wore my Cold Shoulders to the first White House dinner.' [The Cut]

John Varvatos

'I think it is silly. Melania Trump hasn't done anything to anybody. You don't have to be a supporter. But listen, this is what is great about this country: Everyone is entitled to their opinion. If that's [Sophie Theallet's] opinion, that's okay. It is not my opinion. What is great about this country is that everyone has a voice.' [The Cut]

Waris Alhuwalia

'I'd love to see designers take a stand. I think designers, one way or another, should, could take a stand. They have such great influence, and it'd be nice to see that, to see [them] use that influence. It's a very direct statement, but I wouldn't tell anyone which way to do it.' [The Cut]

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