Tom Ford was an early participant in the "will-they-won't-they dress Melania Trump" conversation, citing that his clothes were simply "too expensive" and that it wouldn't make sense for someone in such a high-level position to wear a garment that's unattainable for most people. At the Golden Globes last night, the designer further elaborated on the topic.
Ford reiterated that it wouldn't make sense for the incoming First Lady to wear his namesake label, since it goes against president-elect Trump's whole push for keeping jobs in the U.S. "Given this President's beliefs about 'made in America' — I think the clothes they wear should be made in America," he told Elle. Ford's ready-to-wear collections, he explained the publication, are manufactured in Italy. Not only does that make the garments "very, very expensive," but it goes against the designer's belief that "whoever is the President, or the First Lady, should be wearing clothes at a price point that are accessible to most Americans." If the Trumps were to wear Tom Ford, "most women or men in our country [couldn't] relate to that, and I think the First Lady or the President should represent all people," the designer explained.
With more and more designers weighing in on whether or not they would want to outfit the new FLOTUS, we're particularly curious to see who actually steps up come Inauguration Day.
This story was originally published on November 30, 2016.
Designer Sophie Theallet has arguably been the most vocal fashion industry player in speaking out against dressing Melania Trump. But she clearly isn't the only big-name designer to take that stance. Tom Ford is the latest to decide against attiring the future First Lady; he spoke out during his visit to The View earlier today.
This isn't a purely theoretical musing on whether the forthcoming FLOTUS is someone Ford would want to wear his designs. In fact, the architect-turned-designer (turned film director, lest you forget all of this multi-hyphenate's hyphenates) actually turned down the prospect of dressing Melania years ago, as The Cut pointed out. Apparently, she isn't exactly on-brand for Ford: “She’s not necessarily my image,” he said on the show.
Ford's rationale for why he wouldn't want to dress Trump apparently has to do with what he deems appropriate garb for someone in the political sphere. The designer, a Democrat who voted for Hillary Clinton, thinks a relatability factor is important when it comes to the wardrobes of those in politics. “Even had Hillary won, she shouldn’t be wearing my clothes. They’re too expensive," Ford said on the show. (He did, however, outfit Michelle Obama for a visit to Buckingham Palace, as mentioned on The View, so his stance on the proper intersection of fashion and politics is a bit nebulous.)
Designers like Marc Jacobs, Rag & Bone's Marcus Wainwright, and Public School's Dao-Yi Chow have also said they won't be dressing the new FLOTUS if the opportunity should arise.
Though Melania detractors in the fashion business have been revealing themselves pretty gradually, her industry cheerleaders have been few and far between. Tommy Hilfiger said last week that his fellow designers should "be proud" to dress the former model and wife of Donald Trump. Vera Wang and Thom Browne have also expressed that they would outfit Melania if the chance arose. We expect that in the coming weeks leading up the inauguration, others in the fashion business will speak up about where they stand on their involvement in the upcoming presidency.