Even before President Donald Trump took office in January, there was talk about which fashion designers would — and would not — be interested in dressing first lady Melania Trump.
In November, designer Sophie Theallet wrote an open letter to fellow designers asking them to join her in refusing to dress or associate with the first lady. Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Phillip Lim and Derek Lam all said publicly that they would not dress Melania. Others, including Diane Von Furstenberg, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and Thom Browne, said they would.
In new interview with Surface magazine, Browne shared more insight into his position on dressing the first lady. Browne also had the opportunity to dress former first lady Michelle Obama for Barack Obama’s second inauguration.
“The thing with Michelle Obama came about just through a relationship with her stylist,” Browne said. “She appreciated what I did. I wanted to create something specifically for her. I think she’s incredible. She’s so strong and smart. I created something that reflected that. There’s nothing political behind it at all.”
As for the response from designers about Melania Trump, Browne had this to say:
“I think it’s unfortunate, the response that the current first lady got from designers in regards to dressing her. We all should respect the office, and it shouldn’t become a political thing. The appreciation of what you do is what it should be. Dressing [Donald Trump] would be one thing. But with her, I think it’s different.”
It doesn’t appear that the first lady has worn Browne’s designs publicly yet. Recently, she’s worn looks by Ralph Lauren, Monique Lhuillier and Dolce & Gabbana. Dolce & Gabbana designer Stefano Gabbana has publicly defended dressing Melania and her fashion choices, including that $50,000 D&G jacket she wore during President Trump’s recent trip abroad.