For better or worse, the First Lady of the United States is an important figure in fashion, and Melania Trump is no exception.
Starting with the glamorous white bell-sleeved Roksanda dress she wore to give her viral speech at the Republican National Convention in 2016 to the $595 black snakeskin Manolo Blahnik stiletto heels she wore en route to the devastation wrecked by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, Melania’s wardrobe has given the public plenty to talk about.
While her predecessor Michelle Obama used her wardrobe as a way to highlight fresh, up-and-coming American designers (putting designers like Jason Wu on the map) and to connect with everyday citizens (Obama loved a deal at wallet-friendly J. Crew), Melania has taken a different approach.
As a former model, the First Lady hasn’t shied away from primarily sporting glamorous, high fashion ensembles by international designers and luxury brands, ranging from Gucci (who made her infamous debate “pussy bow” blouse) to Christian Dior.
It’s an interesting sartorial choice given that many First Ladies in the past made a concentrated effort to wear primarily American fashion brands, occasionally using foreign fashion as a means of political diplomacy for a state dinner or the like; it’s even more interesting when one considers her husband’s vocal “Buy American, Hire American” stance.
But perhaps like her husband — who wears Italian-made Brioni suits and tiesfrom his own brand that are made in China — Melania appears to have no issue turning to designers overseas to supply her wardrobe.
It is also worth noting that many American fashion designers have been outspoken about the prospect of dressing the First Lady, with prominent designers like Marc Jacobs and Zac Posen stating that they had no interest in dressing Melania; in contrast, Italian designer Stefano Gabbana of Dolce & Gabbana, no stranger to political controversy himself, has been an ardent defender of the First Lady and counts himself as one of her biggest fans.
With that in mind, here’s a look at Melania Trump’s fashion since she entered the political sphere.