by MIKE CHAIKEN
Sophie Theallet, a luxury brand fashion designer who has dressed current First Lady Michelle Obama won’t follow suit for First Lady Melania Trump. And she urges her colleagues in the industry to do the same.
In an open letter this week, forwarded to the press, Theallet wrote:
“As an independent fashion brand, we consider our voice an expression of our artistic and philosophical ideas.
“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.
“I am well aware it is not wise to get involved in politics. That said, as a family owned company, our 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.
“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.
“Her values, actions, and grace have always resonated deeply within me.
“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.
“I encourage my fellow designers to do the same.
“Integrity is our only true currency.