Melania Trump raised eyebrows when she was photographed wearing a pair of stilettos as she and President Donald Trump left the White House en route to observe Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in Texas.
Designer Manolo Blahnik defended his longtime client, while many criticized the First Lady for the confusing message her shoes sent as she set off to visit an area that had been devastated by the deadly floodwaters.
“I don’t think she’s insensitive. I think she’s working non-stop to make it work—possibly she was just wearing the shoes she left New York in,” Blahnik, 74, told Harper’s Bazaar UK about the Sept. 2 visit when the mother of one was pictured wearing the designer’s snakeskin nude stilettos.
“Yes, I think probably she could have worn Hunter boots but she was wearing what she was wearing. I’m not good at advising people on what to wear because they wear what they want to,” Blahnik concluded.
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Melania’s shoe choice was a bold move considering the criticism she received in late August when she first traveled to the flood-ravaged state, wearing a pair of sky-high black heels. (She wore the heels while in Washington D.C. but later changed to a much more casual look when she arrived in Texas.)
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A spokeswoman for the first lady released a statement to CNN about the kerfuffle, stating that, “It’s sad that we have an active and ongoing natural disaster in Texas, and people are worried about her shoes.”