The design duo Dolce & Gabbana are known for their controversial ideas about women’s clothing, but its actually their counter-cultural ideas about the incoming First Lady that have them earning the scorn of fellow fashion designers and social media denizens.
After Melania Trump wore one of Dolce & Gabbana’s frocks to the traditional Mar-a-Lago New Year’s Eve bash—a bow-adorned scoop neck cocktail dress that retails for around $3,000—the pair thanked her by posting a photo of Melania in the dress on their instagram, hashtagged, #madeinItaly (the brand’s most recent slogan).
Gabbana also called Melania, a “DG woman,” a “beautiful woman” and chastised Melania’s critics as “ignorant.”
The dress earned rave reviews from the public, but the blowback from Trump critics was almost immediate.
Fashion bloggers seethed with derision. On Gabbana’s original post, haters flooded the comments section, lobbing insults at the Italian design maestros like, “you’re garbage and your brand is tacky,” and accused the duo of being complicit in a controversial election. “You should know stefano that OUR election has torn apart our country….If it were Mrs Reagan, Bush or Obama (either party) no one on either side would mind. But this is offensive to the core…”
Another accused D&G of aiding and abetting Nazisim: “No! Whether she’s beautiful or not, would you be proud to dress Eva Braun? So wrong.”
They aren’t the first fashion icons to run afoul of the anti-Trump crowd. Famed Vogue editor and fashion expert Andre Leon Talley was forced to walk back praise for Melania Trump—he called her “one of the great stars” of the incoming Trump administration in an interview with Maureen Dowd—after his shocked friends responded with panic and scorn.
But while the public has been vocal, designers themselves have been, for the most part, quiet on whether they’d embrace the former model and her President-elect husband. Sophie Theallet, who frequently provided clothes to Michelle Obama, has ruled out dressing Donald Trump’s wife altogether, for political reasons, but she’s been mostly alone in her public sentiments.
Designers Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs have also said they are unlikely to dress Melania, but largely because she doesn’t fit within their target demographics. Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Jean-Paul Gautier and even Hillary Clinton mega-donor Diane von Furstenberg have all said they wouldn’t rule out dressing Mrs. Trump, possibly because, like Duchess Kate, Melania Trump is a proven sales machine, and any frock she wears often sells out in under an hour.
Even Indie designer John Paul Ataker has said he would dress the Trump family, and added that he would “honored” to provide clothes for the First Lady after Tiffany Trump appeared in one of his gowns at the Mar-a-Lago bash.