To boycott or not to boycott First Lady Melania Trump because of her husband's politics has been hotly debated in US fashion circles, but for one Chinese designer, at least one member of the first family is a major asset.
Tiffany Trump, the youngest daughter of the US president, was guest of honour in the front row at Taoray Wang's New York fashion week show Saturday, accompanied by her mother, Trump's ex-wife Marla Maples.
The 23-year-old first daughter, who wore Taoray Wang at her father's inauguration weekend, has been happily adopted by the Chinese label as it seeks to open its first overseas store, in New York in September.
She looked beautiful in a pale pink Taoray Wang coat and ivory dress, a similar version of which appeared in navy on the catwalk, and the label proudly announced her attendance in a subsequent statement.
NO NEGATIVE FEEDBACK
The namesake brand of Shanghai-based designer Wang Tao, the fall/winter 2017 collection starred her modern take on classic suiting, with a unique twist of East meets West, and an empowering masculine look made feminine when paired with delicate lace negligees.
Wang designs for the powerful, professional and modern woman — leaders in government, business, finance and law who are not afraid to disguise their femininity.
She sent down the runway black jackets, military-style double breasted coats and wide-legged tweed pants — a powerful look made sexy with knee-high platform boots, lace underlay and pink silk lining on coats.
Wang said that clients, who are largely in China, and been delighted to see Trump — "this wonderful young lady" — wear her clothes at the inauguration and said there had been no negative feedback.
"I would rather focus on personal qualities and characters, rather than labeling them," she told AFP backstage before the show.
It was a stunning collection inspired by contemporary Chinese drama depicting Qing dynasty characters crossing over from ancient times to the present day, and earned her cheers of approval at the end.
Wang said she had not given much thought to the refusal from some prominent American designers to dress the new first lady.
"I didn't think about that, because I'm very open minded. I cooperate with international celebrities and all these leaders," she said.
Front of house was packed, a mix of Chinese and Asian guests mingled with Park Avenue types — sleekly dressed, stiletto-wearing and well-groomed American women similar to the younger Trump.
"I believe there is a lot of bridge between different cultures," said the designer, who studied in Japan and keeps a studio in London.
Her label focused on "this blending and diversity," she said.