One fashion designer who has for eight years played a role in first lady Michelle Obama's wardrobe wants nothing to do with Obama's successor, Melania Trump, who will move into the White House in January, when her husband, President-elect Donald Trump, takes the oath of office.
"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," designer Sophie Theallet wrote in a letter, which she shared on Twitter. "The rhetoric of racism, sexism, and xenophobia unleashed by her husband’s presidential campaign are incompatible with the shared values we live by."
"I encourage my fellow designers to do the same," she added.
Though Theallet acknowledged it is not always profitable to engage in politics as a businesswoman, she said her "bottom line is not just about money" but is also about ushering in a "more humane, conscious and ethical way to create in this world."
Open letter | Sophie Theallet | November 17th, 2016 https://t.co/g1hIAyBmdF— sophie theallet (@sophie theallet)1479421647.0
Theallet is one of the first stylists to come out publicly against the future first lady. In fact, one of her counterparts in the fashion industry argued to the New York Times that it would be hypocritical to refuse to dress Melania Trump because it could negatively impact U.S. manufacturing.
"It would be hypocritical to say no to dressing a Trump," Marcus Wainwright, co-CEO of Rag & Bone, told the newspaper. "If we say we are about inclusivity and making American manufacturing great again, then we have to put that before personal political beliefs."
In her letter, Theallet wrote:
As an immigrant myself in this country, I have been blessed with the opportunity to pursue my dreams in the USA. Dressing the First Lady Michelle Obama for the past 8 years has been a highlight and an honor.
It is worth noting that Melania Trump, originally from Slovenia, is herself an immigrant.
Regardless, the high-end fashionista is not interested in adding to Melania Trump's White House wardrobe, concluding her letter with this statement: "Integrity is our only true currency."