One French fashion designer is refusing to design for Melania Trump when she becomes first lady.
Sophie Theallet, who has designed for first lady Michelle Obama for the past eight years, said in an open letter Thursday that she cannot work for his wife due to what she called “the rhetoric of racism, sexism and xenophobia unleashed by her husband’s presidential campaign.”
“As an independent fashion brand, we consider our voice an expression of our artistic and philosophical ideas,” the letter began. “The Sophie Theallet brand stands against all discrimination and prejudice.”
Theallet wrote that although she know it’s “not wise to get involved in politics,” her family-owned company “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 wrote.
The New York-based fashion designer added 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. I encourage my fellow designers to do the same,” she said.
Theallet concluded her note by writing, “Integrity is our only true currency.”
The designer, who launched her label in 2007, won the prestigious CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award in 2009. Theallet has dressed many celebrities, including Shailene Woodley, Neve Campbell and Gabrielle Union.
Still, not all designers are shunning the incoming first lady. 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 website. “You’ll see everyone dressing Melania. She’s representing the United States.”