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Designer Sophie Theallet Refuses to Dress Melania Trump

Theallet, who dressed Michelle Obama on a number of occasions, wants no part of this administration.

Melania Trump stands with her family wearing a white dress.
Melania Trump arrives at Donald Trump’s election night party.
Photo: Timothy A. Clary/Getty images

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Over the last eight years, designers who dress Michelle Obama for public appearances have found that the First Lady’s seal of sartorial approval can result not only in a boost of self-confidence, but in sales, too. At least one brand is already choosing to opt out of whatever business gains may come from Melania Trump wearing its clothes, though: On Thursday afternoon, Sophie Theallet announced that she intends to avoid association with the future FLOTUS entirely.

The French designer, who has dressed Mrs. Obama on multiple occasions, wrote in a letter posted to Twitter that her values are too incongruous with Donald Trump’s to justify a professional relationship with his wife.

“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, who identifies herself as an immigrant to the US, wrote.

Led by names like Anna Wintour and Marc Jacobs, the New York fashion industry at large voiced its support for Hillary Clinton in the months and weeks leading up to the election, and the surprise victory of Donald Trump has left those same designers and editors wondering how to handle the First Family, if at all. While those who decide not to interact with the Trumps may miss out on one business opportunity, they’ll certainly win points with the portion of the country that is deeply dissatisfied with the results of the election.

In her letter, Theallet encouraged other designers to follow her lead. We’ll see who does.

Watch: The Politics of Pockets