A French fashion designer whose styles have been seen on First Lady Michelle Obama is boycotting Melania Trump and asking her “fellow designers to do the same.”
The New York-based fashion designer Sophie Theallet said in an open letter this week that as an immigrant to the U.S., “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,” Theallet wrote referring to Donald Trump. “I encourage my fellow designers to do the same,” she added.
“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.”
She concluded by saying that “Integrity is our only true currency.”
Teallet tweeted her open letter on her company Twitter account:
Open letter | Sophie Theallet | November 17th, 2016 pic.twitter.com/g1hIAyBmdF
— sophie theallet (@sophietheallet) November 17, 2016
The designer, who launched her label in 2007, won the prestigious CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award in 2009. She has dressed many celebrities, including Shailene Woodley, Neve Campbell and Gabrielle Union.
While Theallet may be the first to openly shun Mrs. Trump, some others appear to be embracing her. Carolina Herrera told the Business of Fashion earlier this month that she predicts designers will soon be flocking to Melania Trump to dress her.
“I think that in two or three months they’ll reach out, because it’s fashion,” Herrera told the publication. “You’ll see everyone dressing Melania. She’s representing the United States.”
“It would be hypocritical to say no to dressing a Trump,” Marcus Wainwright of Rag & Bone told the New York Times. “If we say we are about inclusivity and making American manufacturing great again, then we have to put that before personal political beliefs.”