New York: French designer Sophie Theallet,52, tweeted that she will not dress the next first lady Melania Trump. Theallet has worked in the United States for more than fifteen years, is a regular fixture at New York’s fashion week.The designer has dressed Michelle Obama for the past eight years.
In an open letter Theallet said. “As an independent fashion brand, we consider our voice an expression of our artistic and philosophical ideas. The Sophie Theallet brand stands against all discrimination and prejudice.”
Theallet, an immigrant, admits she is “well aware it is not wise to get involved in politics,” but that the bottom line of her business is “not just about money” and she must stand by her values. Those values, she writes, do not align with “the rhetoric of racism, sexism, and xenophobia unleashed by [Donald Trump’s] presidential campaign.”
Theallet also urged other designers to follow her lead. “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.”
Designing for the first lady is a high honor in the fashion world. Indicating the current first lady’s fashion choices Theallet said.”She has contributed to having our name recognized and respected worldwide.”
She added.”Her values, actions and grace have always resonated deeply within me.”
Theallet’s open letter has prompted a flood of reaction on social media, much of it negative.