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Did Ralph Lauren Make Money on Melania?


The American clothier's stock soared after the first lady — and Hillary Clinton—wore its brand on Inauguration Day.

While the jury is out over how President Donald Trump will impact the economy, one principle may still hold fast: In fashion, the First Lady is good for business.

To wit, stock in Ralph Lauren soared after Melania Trump wore an outfit custom-made by the American designer on Inauguration Day.

Yahoo reports that a share of Ralph Lauren was valued at $88.20 last Thursday, the eve of the presidential transition of power. The stock peaked Friday at $89.32 just prior to Trump's swearing-in, about an hour after the former fashion model made her debut in the powder-blue ensemble.

Clinton, Donald Trump's rival in the presidential election and herself a former first lady, was also highly visible in a white outfit from Ralph Lauren. And there is no way to measure how either or both women's sartorial choices impacted the designer's stock.

However, Michelle Obama demonstrated how a first lady can give visibility and economic opportunity to labels. Her first inaugural gown put designer Jason Wu on the map, and her ensembles--like the dress created by Christian Siriano for the 2016 Democratic National Convention -- often made political statements and headlines.

Many fashion designers, as a show of protest against the Trump administration, have refused to dress the first lady. Joseph Altuzarra, Tom Ford, and Marc Jacobs have said they have no interest in seeing Melania Trump in their clothes.

"Personally, I'd rather put my energy into helping out those who will be hurt by [Donald] Trump and his supporters," Jacobs told Women's Wear Daily.

However, designers such as Calvin Klein, Thome Browne, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Tommy Hilfiger have reportedly spoken in favor of dressing her, arguing American fashion brands should support the U.S. government.

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