A fashion designer who dressed first lady Michelle Obama said Thursday that she refuses to dress the incoming first lady Melania Trump because of the “rhetoric of racism, sexism, and xenophobia unleashed by her husband’s presidential campaign,” the Huffington Post reported Friday.
In an open letter posted on her Twitter page, Sophie Theallet wrote: “The Sophie Theallet brand stands against all discrimination and prejudice. Our runway shows, ad campaigns, and celebrity dressing have always been a celebration of diversity and a reflection of the world we live in.
Theallet said that while “it is not wise to get involved in politics” since her company is “family owned,” her “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,” 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. She has contributed to having our name recognized and respected worldwide,” Theallet wrote.
Mrs. Obama’s “values, actions and grace have always resonated deeply within me,” Theallet added.
“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. 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.
“I encourage my fellow designers to do the same,” she added. “Integrity is our only true currency.”