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Calvin Klein Would Design for Melania Trump Even If Others Won't

Calvin Klein Would Design for Melania Trump Even If Others Won't

Calvin Klein

The fashion world is divided on whether to associate their brands with a Trump of any name.

It was looking like slim pickings on fashion designers willing to match their brands with Melania Trump.

But Calvin Klein says he'd do it, if asked.

"Of course I would," said the out designer when interrupted at night by a TMZ camera man who asked if Klein would create something for the inaugural ball.

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Klein sold his company in 2002, so design for the actual label is handled by others. Still, he adds his name to the list of designers who've said they would happily dress Melania Trump as first lady. That includes out designer Thom Browne, Diane von Furstenberg, Tommy Hilfiger, and Marcus Wainwright of Rag & Bone.

The list of designers who say they won't dress Melania Trump is fairly exhaustive. Tom Ford won't do it. Neither will Marc Jacobs. "Personally, I'd rather put my energy into helping out those who will be hurt by [Donald] Trump and his supporters," Jacobs told WWD. Humberto Leon said on Facebook that "No one should and if she buys your clothes, tell people you don't support it."

The latest to publicly opt out is Christian Siriano. The fashion designer, who was on this year's OUT100, told Bustle that the incoming first lady and he "don't share the same values."

Although Siriano has dressed Trump in the past, he now tells Bustle that she represents something he can't support, and he says that's how "a lot of young gay designers" are feeling. "It's very hard to support people that don't support you," he said.

It was French fashion designer Sophie Theallet, who worked with Michelle Obama, that sparked the conversation with an open letter announcing after the election that she wouldn't work with Trump. She hoped others would follow her lead. "As one 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," wrote Theallet. "The rhetoric of racism, sexism, and xenophobia unleashed by her husband's presidential campaign are incompatible with the shared values we live by."

Derek Lam articulated the real business risk for designers when asked by WWD about whether he'd design for Melania Trump -- which he won't, saying "I would rather concentrate my energies on efforts towards a more just, honorable and a mutually respectful world."

"I was warned by people that I should not make an opinion which could alienate a client," he said -- a concept that works both ways.

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