Celeb Style Smithsonian, American History
First Lady Melania Trump to Present Inaugural Gown to Smithsonian

HISTORY LESSONS: Hervé Pierre will be on hand Friday morning when First LadyMelania Trump presents the inaugural gown he designed for her to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

“She asked me if I wanted to be her date, and I said, ‘Oh hell, yes,’” Pierre said with a laugh. “As a foreigner who became an American, to have your gown put in the Smithsonian Museum is a big huge honor. I got chills. I know how in the designer world, there are lots of big egos. I have always tried to manage my ego for many, many years. But in this case, there is nothing to be ashamed of — it’s a big ego thing. I’m really really proud of it.”

David Skorton, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, and John Gray, director of the National Museum of American History, will help welcome 200 guests at the private unveiling in Flag Hall of the vanilla silk crepe off-the-shoulder gown with a slit skirt and ruffled accent trim from neckline to hem. Pierre said, “When you are on Earth, it is important to leave a little mark. My name will be in the museum forever. I’m not a painter. That will be the only thing I have in the museum but it is part of American history. That means the world to me because I have worked and lived in this country for 22 years.”

Recalling how he has worked in the best houses — Oscar de la Renta, Vera Wang, Bill Blass and Carolina Herrera, Pierre said, “Suddenly on my own I’m able to get a dress in this museum, part of the history of fashion. I’m not going to lie: I’m enjoying it tremendously. But I’m a happy fellow. I’m barely in a bad mood. But that was like, ‘Whoa! That’s lovely.’ That left a big smile.”

Thinking back to his inaugural night selfie request with the First Lady, Pierre said, “Then the President walked in and saw her for the first time. He said, ‘Whoa, that’s really gorgeous.’ Then I let her go and had a bite downstairs at the White House because I couldn’t eat for hours before. I was too nervous.”

While he continues to consult with FLOTUS, Pierre is also setting the groundwork for his own house. In the preliminary round of talks with investors about launching a signature collection, Pierre said he may introduce 10 dresses or so as early as December for pre-fall. “I’m just in the early stages of sketching and will see if I can afford the fabrics. For a September show, it used to be 200 pieces and we would start a month or two before. So to do 10 dresses…”

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