Melania Trump continues to be a polarizing topic in the fashion industry. On one hand, many designers like Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford and Sophie Theallet outright refuse to dress the new First Lady, while others like Tommy Hilfiger would welcome the opportunity. Andre Leon Talley’s relationship to the incoming administration, and Melania Trump specifically, is a tad more complicated.
Prior to the election, Andre accompanied Melania to find her wedding gown for a story with Vogue. After the feature, they developed a friendship, and Andre even attended her wedding. Andre Leon Talley was a firm supporter of Hillary Clinton during the election, but given his history with Melania, he sent well wishes to the soon-to-be First Lady once Donald Trump was elected. His gesture didn’t sit well among his family and friends in the fashion industry, he tells The New York Times.
Shortly after the backlash, Andre released a statement distancing himself from the Trumps. He tells The New York Times he is no longer a supporter of Melania and will likely never style her. “You make the choice to be in Trumpland or you make the choice to eject yourself from the horror of Trumpland. I’ve made my choice not to be part of Trumpland,” he said.
He also shared some interesting thoughts about Melania’s style. “Melania, who opted at 3 a.m. for a palazzo jumpsuit, with one arm exposed and a flounce over the other — it seemed to me too Mar-a-Lago, a huge, full-volume jumpsuit. Trying too hard. And I am so tired of the long hair falling on both sides of her face. She has to upgrade her coiffure.” By contrast, he believes Hillary’s fashion choices could have been huge trends over the next four years.
Andre Leon Talley is only the latest fashion industry icon to speak out against dressing or styling Melania Trump. The backlash is unprecedented, especially in recent years when designers felt it was honor to dress Michelle Obama or Hillary Clinton. It will be interesting to see who decides to collaborate with Melania for the inauguration. One thing’s for sure: Andre Leon Talley will not be involved.