- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 5, 2017

Stefano Gabbana of Italian luxury fashion label Dolce and Gabbana is remaining unapologetic after his recent praise of incoming first lady Melania Trump irked fans.

The 54-year-old fashion designer, a prolific Instagram user, posted a photo this week of President-elect Donald Trump and his wife on New Year’s Eve in Palm Beach, Florida. The soon-to-be first lady wore a black dress from Dolce and Gabbana’s Cruise collection, which according to reports cost between $2,400 and $2,995.

“Melania Trump #DGwoman,” Mr. Gabbana wrote with a series of heart emojis. “Thank you #MadeInItaly.”

The simple thanks prompted more than 1,300 comments, with many fans and followers vowing to boycott the label over the perceived endorsement of Mr. Trump’s policies.

Mr. Gabbana remained vigilant in his defense, responding to dozens of comments and individually calling many of his critics “ignorant” in English and Italian.

“How many stupid and ignorant people r on instagram!!!!” the fashion designer wrote in English. “Please if you dont like my post unfollow me … thank u.”

“I like Melania she’s a beautiful woman,” he said to one commenter.

“I’m a free man and i dont care what some journalist may say,” he said to another.

“If a woman buys a dress in our shop I should throw it out?” he wrote in Italian, according to a translation by USA Today. “Are you crazy?”

One commenter who claimed to have met Mr. Gabbana several times and considered himself a loyal customer wrote that Mr. Trump is “horrible” and shouldn’t be supported in any capacity.

Mr. Gabbana snapped back, “so… please you dont buy anymore my fashion please!!! I dont need a ignorant costumer!!! And please dont follow me!!!”

One English commenter compared Mrs. Trump to Adolf Hitler’s companion, Eva Braun, but the question didn’t translate to Mr. Gabbana.

“Who is Eva Brown? Sorry….” he replied.

He kept the conversation going on his Instagram account all week, posting photos of articles covering the controversy caused by Mrs. Trump wearing his dress.

Whether to dress Mrs. Trump has been a topic of discussion among fashion designers who disagree with her husband’s politics. One of first lady Michelle Obama’s favorite fashion designers, Sophie Theallet, penned a letter in November saying her brand was boycotting Mrs. Trump. Others, including Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs have also indicated they have no interest in dressing the incoming first lady.

Some fashion designers have disagreed, however. Carolina Herrera, Tommy Hilfiger and Diane von Furstenberg have all said that any brand should be proud to dress the first lady of the United States.

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