As America continues to digest the aftermath of the presidential election, many in the fashion community, which has historically spent this period between presidents contemplating the incoming First Lady’s place within its orbit, are wondering if there is one at all. It’s a natural question for an industry populated largely by women, members of the L.G.B.T.Q. community, and progressives to ask itself—given Melania Trump’s husband’s sexist and xenophobic comments during the campaign, the allegations of sexual harassment that have followed him, and the retrograde attitudes of many of the advisors now jockeying for positions in his cabinet.
At the party for the launch of his live Google Pixel cases and emojis on Thursday night, designer Jeremy Scott pondered the First-Lady-to-be, a former model.
“I’m going to give Melania the benefit of the doubt,” he told Vanity Fair. “She looks good in clothes. She wears them well, she’s got a good figure. I don’t know if it will have the same meaning for people. What I love about Michelle [Obama] is her personality. Her beauty is so much more about who she is and what she does. Obviously [Melania] looks great, but I can’t divorce it from who she is. I don’t know Melania. We don’t know Melania.”
While current First Lady Michelle Obama has been a beloved personality for the White House and the Obama administration—with vibrant clothing to match—Melania Trump has been considerably more reserved during her husband’s campaign. She stuck to monochrome outfits that tended to make headlines only for their price points or coincidental style names (the great pussy-bow blouse incident).
Although Scott is extending his faith to the future First Lady, he remains saddened by Tuesday’s turn of events. “No, I did not vote for him; no, I did not campaign for him; no, I did not want this. We have to live in hope because this is where we’re at. Let’s hope that this is going to motivate people, like it has last night, to make change,”
he explained referencing the nationwide anti-Trump protests. “Whether it’s that we do change the electoral college, if that’s what it is, or that we get people to realize that that’s why you have to be invested in the process all the time, not just when it doesn’t go your way.”
Scott’s friends include some of the most high-profile and passionate supporters of the Clinton campaign, including Katy Perry, who spent the better part of 2016 traveling to encourage young people to vote. “We’ve all just been crying. My tear ducts went on strike. They’re like, ‘No more.’ I cried all during SoulCycle; I cried after SoulCycle,” he said about their immediate post-election reaction.
But as a designer, Scott’s work as the creative director of Moschino and his own eponymous line relies on humor, nostalgia, and being unapologetically loud, things Scott understands are even more necessary for people to see after the divisive election. “I’m just trying to get back to what is my job in this world, which is more important now than ever. To bring joy, to bring happiness, to bring color, to bring light to this world.”