First Lady Melania Trump loves a good coat.
To her husband’s inauguration, she wore a powder blue Ralph Lauren suit coat.
In Italy, she chose a colorful Dolce & Gabanna jacket.
She is known for draping coats imperiously over her shoulders — for this she likes Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney, Delpozo, Gucci, and Givenchy. It’s rare to see her in an item of clothing, much less a statement coat, that retails for under $2,000.
Yet on Thursday, on a visit to a shelter in McAllen, Texas, where children who have been illegally separated from their parents are being held with no knowledge of when or if they will see their parents again, Melania Trump wore a $39 jacket from the fast-fashion brand Zara. On the back of the jacket, the words: “I don’t really care. Do U?”
Here’s an image of the jacket from the Zara website:
Heartless? Clueless? Slyly subversive?
The brand, cost, appearance, and message of the jacket represents an enormous departure from Trump’s normal look. We cannot possibly guess at what the First Lady can mean by wearing it.
“It’s a jacket. There was no hidden message,” Trump’s communications director Stephanie Grisham told the Daily Mail. And she’s right, there is no hidden message — it’s a visible message written clearly and legibly. “After today’s important visit to Texas, I hope this isn’t what the media is going to choose to focus on,” Grisham added.
But we can’t do Grisham or our first family that favor. It seems, in a moment when tiny children are being forcibly separated from their parents and imprisoned, there is no limit on the number of indefensible, inexplicable, mortifying things we can witness.
Jenny Singer is the deputy lifestyle editor for the Forward. You can reach her at Singer@forward.com or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny