It seems the “Trump effect” is not limited to just the president, as First Lady Melania Trump has apparently had a positive impact on the fashion industry.
As all eyes were transfixed by Melania Trump’s gown on Inauguration Night, perhaps no one was more surprised by the reaction than the dress designer himself.
“I had no idea when I made the dress what the consequences would be,” Hervé Pierre told Harpers Bazaar in his first interview since the inauguration.
“Immediately my phone went completely ballistic with interview requests. I had investors and bankers in Dubai calling, people opened fake Instagram accounts under my name. Even Target called to say, ‘We are so excited you are doing a line for us.’ I’m like, ‘Well I had no idea I was doing one,'” Pierre said.
The French-born designer, who became an American citizen in August, was creative director for Carolina Herrera but designed the gown under his own name after he was approached by the future first lady.
“She knows fashion—she was a model and has worked in a design studio—so she knows about construction,” Pierre explained. “She knows about fabrics. It was a very organic conversation because we have the same vocabulary.”
Mrs. Trump insisted the gown be elegant yet simple, Pierre noted, adding that they deliberately tried “not to follow any recipe for a ‘First Lady gown.'” Her input was appreciated by the designer who said she even expressed once, “Hervé, I love you, but I cannot move my arm to hold my husband’s arm when we dance.”
The first lady put her husband’s “America first” patriotism into her wardrobe choices for the inaugural weekend, wearing clothing only by American designers like Ralph Lauren, who crafted the pale blue outfit she wore on Inauguration Day.
— F L O C K I N C. (@JordyAri) January 21, 2017
And while some designers famously snubbed Mrs. Trump by declaring they wouldn’t even think of dressing her (as if she even asked them), others were reaping the rewards of being part of the historic first days of the Trump White House.
Barely an hour after Lauren’s blue ensemble appeared, the company’s stock soared, Harpers reported. Hillary Clinton’s white trouser suit at the swearing in ceremony was also a Ralph Lauren design.
According to Harpers:
The stock had closed on Thursday at $88.20 a share, before reaching $89.32 in the moments leading up to the inauguration. Trading spiked around 11am, and then stock closed at $88.90 at the end of the day on Friday, a boost in what had otherwise been a down month for the company’s stock.
The share prices continued to rise, reaching a peak of $91.15 a share on Wednesday.
For Pierre, his inaugural gown reflected Mrs. Trump’s personality and he though it was “sad” that his peers decided to shun the first lady.
“That’s the good thing about this country: we are all equal, but we are definitely not the same,” he said. “I’m not doing politics, I’m doing dresses. We are not suddenly brokering a big deal between China and Russia. If people don’t want to dress her, I think it’s sad, but I was honored. I don’t criticize these people—it’s their choice, and that’s the beauty of democracy.”
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