Tommy Hilfiger says "any designer should be proud" to dress the incoming first lady after another designer decided to never work with her based on political grounds.
Sophie Theallet tweeted an open letter urging all designers "not participate in dressing or associating in any way with the next first lady." She further writes in her letter that she was "honored" to dress First Lady Michelle Obama, but "the rhetoric of racism, sexism, and xenophobia unleashed by [Melania Trump's] husband's presidential campaign are incompatible with the shared values" she lives by.
Open letter | Sophie Theallet | November 17th, 2016 pic.twitter.com/g1hIAyBmdF— sophie theallet (@sophietheallet) November 17, 2016
While Theallet is not a household name, she has dressed Michelle Obama numerous times over the last eight years along with other celebrities, including singer Alicia Keys and reality star Kim Kardashian.
However, Hilfiger, who has praised the Trumps in the past, has a different take.
In an interview with Women's Wear Daily he was asked if he would be joining Theallet in her cause to refuse to dress incoming first lady Melania Trump.
Hilfiger said he would be proud to dress Melania Trump, though he is not officially on board yet.
“I think Melania is a very beautiful woman and I think any designer should be proud to dress her,” Hilfiger remarked.
He also went on to praise Melania’s stepdaughter, Ivanka Trump, who now has her very own fashion empire.
Ivanka was part of Hilfiger’s ad as a teenager for a Tommy Jeans campaign.
Hilfiger said, “Ivanka is equally as beautiful and smart, although she wears her own clothes. I don’t think people should become political about it. Everyone was very happy to dress Michelle Obama as well. I think they look great in the clothes. You’re not gonna get much more beautiful than Ivanka or Melania.”
Earlier, before the election, Hilfiger described the young Ivanka as a sweetheart. “She was a doll, she was a sweetheart.”
“She is today. More sophisticated, more grown up. She’s an amazing girl.”
When asked whether Ivanka Trump’s brand would survive the impact of her father’s presidential campaign, Hilfiger commented, “That’s hard to tell. Ivanka is a very smart, well-respected young woman with great taste. I think at the end of the day, if the clothes are great, people are going to buy them. I’ve seen that happen so many times with brands that have been spoken about negatively, but if people like the clothes, people will buy them. But I don’t know what will happen long-term to her brand.”
Hilfiger is one of the first designers to oppose Theallet’s boycott to dress Melania Trump.