- The Washington Times - Monday, February 13, 2017

The fashion designer behind singer Joy Villa’s pro-Donald Trump dress worn at the Grammy Awards Sunday night is a Filipino-born immigrant who thinks the president will be good for the country.

Ms. Villa sparked a social media firestorm after she appeared on the red carpet wearing a red-white-and-blue gown with “Make America Great Again” emblazoned on the front and “TRUMP” on the back. The controversial dress was a rare sight at the awards show otherwise marked by several anti-Trump messages and advocacy for liberal causes.

“Go big, or go home,” Ms. Villa wrote on Twitter after her Grammys appearance. “You can either stand for what you believe or fall for what you don’t. Above all make a choice.”

Andre Soriano, an American fashion designer and reality TV star who immigrated from Manila, told The Hollywood Reporter that the dress represents love and unity.

“It’s more so about love,” he said. “We all live on this planet. I’ve never been in the political arena. However, it’s just so crazy that people are getting beat up because they voted for Trump, or this and that, someone wants to bomb the White House. I am an American, I moved here from the Philippines, and I highly believed in the trueness of what this country can bring. It’s about bringing people together, that’s the message.”

Mr. Soriano said he was inspired to create the dress after he heard Madonna’s comments at the Women’s March on Washington about her thoughts about blowing up the White House.

“I heard that somebody wanted to bomb the White House. And then I saw the Women’s March,” Mr. Soriano said. “Joy Villa is all about love with her music. I’m like, ‘Joy, We have to make a statement on what is right for our country, of what we believe in, for the Constitution.’ “

“I really love this country. I am a minority, Joy is black. America is about immigrants,” the designer added.

“I always channel Joy’s music as a designer — we’re both artists, and I love her so dearly,” he said. “She is one of the people on this planet that really promotes love. We need to move this country forward, and we believe it’s time to promote love. We only live once, and we need to promote love. We have one president now who is going to do the best thing for planet America.”

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