In the fall of 2016, Sophie Theallet, a French designer who founded her namesake label in New York in 2007, was feeling a burst of momentum. She had been heralded as a champion of inclusivity after her graceful fall collection, shown at New York Fashion Week in February, and had a campaign planned for spring 2017 that featured such women as Selah Marley, a daughter of the musician Lauryn Hill, and Sarita Choudhury, the actress.
Michelle Obama had worn her clothes. She was as excited as she had been when she won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award in 2009. Her moral and creative values were in sync.
And then, in November 2016, she wrote a letter and posted it on Twitter. In it, she wrote that she could not support the “racism, sexism and xenophobia unleashed” by the Trump campaign.
Further, she wrote, as someone “who celebrates and strives for diversity, individual freedom, and respect for all lifestyles, I will not participate in dressing or associating in any way with the next first lady.”