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Was the First Lady's Fashion Faux Pas Intentional?

June 22, 2018

By Alisha Haridasani

It’s the jacket that everyone’s talking about. But did First Lady Melania Trump know what she was doing?

“Consider the fact that she had all this backlash, it was very swift, very immediate," said Vox reporter Rebecca Jennings. "But then by the time she got off the plane after visiting Texas in Maryland, she had the jacket back on again. By the end of the day, it was a very calculated move.”

She's referring to Mrs. Trump's decision to wear a $39 Zara jacket, with the phrase ‘I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?' scrawled across the back, before and after an unplanned visit to migrant children at the Texas-Mexico border.

“When you wear a jacket like that, it kind of invites intense media attention,” said Jennings.

The item might have gained as much notoriety as former President Obama’s tan suit in 2014. And the fact that it came at such a heated political time and place raised more than a few eyebrows.

Critics argued it’s hard to believe that someone in the public eye, who makes such conscious fashion choices every day, didn’t understand the insensitivity conveyed by the jacket's message.

It also seemed to work against the first lady’s "BE BEST" initiative and her mission to portray a more humanitarian White House, said Jennings.

“She kind of took the attention away from the issue she was there to be supporting,” said Jennings.

But Mrs. Trump's team downplayed the importance of the item.

“It’s a jacket. There was no hidden message,” the first lady’s communications director Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.

President Trump also offered his own narrative, saying the message on her jacket was aimed at “the Fake News Media.”

“Melania has learned how dishonest they are, and she truly no longer cares!” he tweeted.

Mrs. Trump has run up against criticism for her fashion choices before. During her visit to Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey last year, she sported impractical stiletto heels that came to symbolize how detached the first family was from the disaster victims.

For the full interview, click here.