The president admitted that Louis Vuitton "cost me a lot of money over the years."

By Sam Reed
Oct 18, 2019 @ 4:30 pm

In 2010, Melania Trump posed for glamour shots in her New York penthouse while surrounded by a dozen Louis Vuitton suitcases, with five alone expertly balanced by a white-gloved porter. A second photo shows the First Lady perched on a bench at the foot of her bed, framed by four massive Louis Vuitton trunks to her right, a haphazardly splayed Louis Vuitton suitcase to her left, and a few Louis Vuitton jewelry boxes on the bed behind her, just because.

The photo was part of a shoot in which Donald and Melania Trump — then just your average ostentatious American millionaires — displayed their outrageous wealth in the flashiest way possible. In addition to the images of her suitcase collection, there are also photos of the interior of Melania's closet, where Chanel bags and Manolo Blahnik heels abound. 

The First Lady's long-time love of Louis Vuitton felt extra poignant on Thursday afternoon following president Donald Trump's visit to the brand's new factory in Alvarado, Tex., where he celebrated the creation of 500 factory jobs. Joined by Ivanka, the president participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony and hobnobbed with LVMH's CEO and chairman, billionaire Bernard Arnault. 

The New York Times' Vanessa Friedman, who was on the ground in Texas to report on the event, posted several tweets — including one in which the president can be heard saying Louis Vuitton "cost me a lot of money over the years." 

Trump, whose Brioni suits are often ill-fitting and whose ties are occasionally scotch-taped, doesn't appear to be the one on the receiving end of these Louis Vuitton purchases. Rather, it's Melania who has brought Louis Vuitton from Trump Tower to the White House. FLOTUS's monogrammed luggage has been captured as it's transported to Air Force One by aides. The below was snapped in 2017 when she (notoriously clad in stiletto heels) and Donald flew to visit victims of Hurricane Harvey. 

Pool/Getty Images

Her brand loyalty, in fact, is so strong that she's even been photographed in the act of shopping at a Louis Vuitton showroom in Paris. 

With prices for Louis Vuitton luggage upwards of $2,000 a piece, Trump wasn't kidding when he said the brand cost him "a lot."

But Louis Vuitton isn't the only fashion house on Melania's list. The first lady has, on multiple occasions, displayed her love for other European luxury brands, particularly those with similarly flashy symbols or styles. Her logo-covered Louboutins, for example, left quite the impression, and her collection of Hermés Birkin bags — arguably the rarest handbags in the world — is bested only by Kris Jenner. 

Getty Images

Whereas her predecessor, Michelle Obama, jumped at every opportunity to practice fashion diplomacy as first lady, and champion emerging American designers (especially those of color) as well as more affordable brands, Melania has maintained her pre-White House fashion preferences for the most luxurious of the luxury brands. 

The Trumps' love of flashy, logo-forward fashion fits with the image of their former home in Trump Tower, with its shiny gold walls and marbled peach floors, the Trump name splashed across every available corner (not unlike the LVs on a Louis Vuitton Speedy).

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In the wake of the president's factory visit, some wondered why he would show up for the ribbon cutting ceremony for a company that already has operational facilities in the U.S., is not American, and creates goods far out of the price range of the average American consumer. One could see the president wanting to align his name with that of a 155-year-old brand known to elicit an aspirational sort of glamour, exclusivity, and prestige. But the answer could be just as simple as the fact that Trump likes Louis Vuitton, because his wife likes Louis Vuitton. And, if photos are any indication, she likes it a whole lot.

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