Karl Lagerfeld, Ralph Lauren Rumored to Dress Melania Trump at Inauguration

Karl Lagerfeld, Ralph Lauren Rumored to Dress Melania Trump at Inauguration

With everyone speculating about who will dress the future first lady on Friday, two industry titans are rumored to have taken on the job.

With everyone speculating about who will dress the future first lady on Friday, two industry titans are rumored to have taken on the job.

Text: William Defebaugh

The subject of which designers will and will not dress Melania Trump during her time as first lady of the United States has become a polarizing question within the fashion world. Some designers, like Tommy Hilfiger, have said they would dress her, while others, like Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs, have vocally declined. Many smaller American brands—whom Michelle Obama championed during her own stylish reign—will likely follow Ford and Jacobs' leads, fearing what the polarizing reaction might do to business.

With Donald Trump's inauguration just two days away, everyone is wondering what Melania will wear. She has big footsteps to fill coming after Obama, who managed an expert balance of powerful dressing that was also fashion forward, and will likely be remembered as the most sartorially sophisticated first lady since Jackie Kennedy. The current rumors circulating are that Melania will wear looks by Ralph Lauren and Karl Lagerfeld.

The first of these two names should come as no surprise: Melania has worn Ralph Lauren before at debates and election night, and the designer is known for his patriotism (he's designed the U.S. Olympic uniform multiple times, and even donated $10 million to restoring the Star-Spangled Banner). It's worth noting, though, that his patriotism seems to be a bipartisan one, having also dressed Hillary Clinton throughout her campaign.

Lagerfeld, if he is to dress the first lady, requires a bit more unpacking. On the one hand, the designer is known to be highly opinionated, with equally high standards, and Melania doesn't exactly seem on-brand for the man behind Chanel. On the other hand, Lagerfeld has made a career out of being irreverent, always favoring the unexpected (he once told Miley Cyrus in an interview for V, "What is more fun than to shock the bourgeois anyway?"). And let's not forget that Lagerfeld also helms his own namesake label, as well as LVMH brand Fendi, both of which could be options for Melania. Just last week, Bernard Arnault, the CEO of LVMH, had a meeting with Trump.

Melania will need a minimum of two statement-making ensembles for Friday, one for day and one for night. While neither designer has confirmed, one thing is clear: whoever decides to dress the first lady will set a precedent for the four years that follow.

Ron Sachs/CNP/MediaPunch
Credits: Banner photo courtesy of Ron Sachs/CNP/MediaPunch

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