After months of speculation (What designers will risk the wrath of dressing Melania and Ivanka Trump? What publications will cover what the first family is wearing, despite inevitable reader backlash?), we have some answers.
We know that Ivanka kicked off inauguration weekend wearing a kelly green dress and matching coat by Oscar de la Renta. Our social feeds told us she stuck to the same designer for the swearing-in ceremony — she sported a white Oscar de la Renta pantsuit — while Melania wore a sky-blue cashmere set by Ralph Lauren. It took zero detective work to learn that, for the inaugural ball, Ivanka wore a gold Carolina Herrera gown and Melania wore a white off-the-shoulder number she co-designed with Herve Pierre.
Clearly, publications are covering their looks — though the extent to which they’re doing so has been across the board.
Fashionista made a statement about its intention to cover Melania’s style choices in November (“We won’t go so far as to say we’ll never write about what Mrs. Trump is wearing, but we’re going to reserve it for strictly newsworthy occasions”), though it did not cover Melania’s inaugural togs, which — if history is prologue — will go on display in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. It did, however, run stories on what Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama wore over the weekend, with stories including “Michelle Obama Wore a Red Jason Wu Dress to Say So Long to the White House.”
Though it endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, Vogue.com featured the Trumps’ inaugural weekend style heavily by way of posts like “Inside Ivanka Trump’s Inauguration Wardrobe” and “Melania Trump Reveals a First Look at Her Inauguration Day Beauty.” But it did not showcase the looks on its Instagram, which proved a contentious move for other publications. When Yahoo Style featured Ivanka’s green de la Renta frock on its channel, it was answered with comments including, “Don’t do this, Yahoo” and “Unfollowing, bye.”
Likewise — despite designers including Tom Ford and Sophie Theallet declaring that they will not outfit the First Lady — a number did come to the plate, though they faced opposition: By Friday afternoon, #BoycottRalphLauren was a popular hashtag on Twitter.
To get a better idea of fashion fans’ feelings about their favorite designers and publications associating with the Trumps, we recently decided to poll a selection of them on the streets of NYC.
Nina Sloss, 25
Works at a lobbying firm
What do you think about people unfollowing the publications covering Melania’s and Ivanka’s looks?
I mean, at this point, they’re the first family, so it has to be covered. People don’t like them, but that’s kind of too bad.
What about the designers losing customers for dressing them?
That’s kind of tough, because I understand why people would hate [the Trumps] and not want the famous designers to be dressing them — but they have so many events and so many things going on, they need that kind of stuff. The first family should always try to lean toward American designers and all that, but … it’s tough. But designers should be dressing them because they’re the first family.”
Christina Danza, 26
Works in advertising and blogger of downtown-native.com
There have been some strong opinions out there about what the Trump women wore over the weekend.
I think that everyone’s going to have their opinions of what they’re wearing, but I think that they’re in the position where they’re in the public eye — you don’t accidentally become in the public eye, you have to try to be in the public eye. So, I think that at that point, you have to be okay with any type of feedback you get, positive or negative.
Should the designers who dressed them be getting flack?
I think that — because of social media these days — everyone has a voice and everyone has an opinion, and it’s just amplified by a thousand. I think that everyone needs to take what they hear with a grain of salt and just try to form your own opinions based on what you believe in, rather than just reading everything you see and believing it. I think that, if designers have personal opinions that would cause them to severely disagree with something the Trump family believes in, then it’s up to them whether or not they want to dress the person — but it’s taking a political stance, and they have to decide it they want to take a political stance or just be mainstream.
Lara Brown, 30-something
Would it be OK with you if your go-to publications decided to cover Ivanka’s and Milania’s looks?
I like Cosmopolitan and Vogue. I know it’s part of what’s supposed to be done and featuring the looks is part of their social media, so it doesn’t bother me either way.
What about your favorite designers dressing them?
If the Trumps like it, then sure — awesome. None of these people are not paying my rent, so it’s great — it’s not a big deal.
Payal Patel, 31
Works for a pharmaceutical company
What do you think about fashion publications featuring what the Trumps are wearing?
I mean, I think publications have a right to feature what they want — but especially in the environment that we’re in now and with the concerns that people have, I think it would be nice to focus on the issues, rather than superficial things that might not have any bearing on what’s important to the country.
What about the designers dressing them?
I think people have the right to express themselves how they want. If that means wearing a certain thing that makes them happy, that’s up to them. I think we should focus on what’s most important, focus on uniting with each other — and wanting something positive for the country, rather than being negative.
Sara Giberson, 24
What do you think about the designers who have been dressing the Trump women?
It doesn’t make me look down on the designers or look at them any differently. As much as we’re opposed to it, these are our elected officials. I think it’s the designers’ right to dress them, and someone has to do it. I’m glad they’re wearing American brands, like the Ralph Lauren dress Melania wore at the inauguration — that makes sense to me. It’s hard to separate your opinion of these people from the outfit choices they’re making, but I would not unfollow a designer for dressing them.
The same for a publication covering them?
Yes, because it’s important to get that information out there.
Safe to assume you voted for Hillary?
Yes, I am a Democrat. I wanted Hillary so badly. I’m still in awe that he is our president, but I’m also consciously trying to accept that this is our reality and have hope that things will go well, because that’s really what we can do right now.
Flora Brunetti, 37
Is covering the Trump women’s style making a political statement?
I did not vote for Trump, and though I have certain negative political views regarding his leadership, I don’t have any opinion on magazines covering Melania’s or Ivanka’s fashion. I think it is two separate topics, and if a designer’s style matches the personality and public figure who is wearing it, then so be it.
So you’re cool with seeing their looks on your Instagram feed?
I would not unfollow a social channel or stop reading a publication that showcased them, especially if they are just covering the fashion. Designers have every right to dress whoever they’d like because they worked so hard at creating their businesses. A political family wearing the fashion gives the public a chance to see the beautiful pieces.