By all accounts, Melania Trump has come out of her shell on this, her debut trip abroad as first lady of the United States. She has been by her husband’s side, but she’s also branched out on her own, visiting schools and hospitals, practicing cultural diplomacy, even having an audience with the pope — revealing her Catholic faith.
And today in Sicily, while President Donald Trump convened with world leaders at the G7 Summit, the first lady took the opportunity to sightsee with the other spouses — only she did so in a $51,500 Dolce & Gabbana jacket.
The “3D flower” jacket is from the Italian design house’s fall 2017 ready-to-wear line, and it’s not yet available in most stores. However, the luxe retail website, Moda Operandi, has already sold out; those who made the purchase were required to make a $25,750 deposit, in good faith until delivery.
Trump wore the coat on Friday’s activities, which included a visit to the Chierici Palace City Hall of Catania. To get there, she and the other spouses were ferried from G7 site Taomarina, via private helicopter; the first lady shared the view on her social media accounts.
But, back to that jacket, which at February’s Dolce & Gabbana runway presentation looked like this:
Trump has worn more Dolce & Gabbana looks on this trip than any other label, including these flower shoes at Thursday’s spouse dinner in Belgium, at the close of the NATO summit.
Stefano Gabbana, one half of the design duo, has been chronicling Trump’s looks on his Instagram feed Thursday, saying “my fav shoes” about the $1,995 strappy heels.
However, Friday’s jacket, with its floral embellishments, is by far the most expensive item of clothing Trump has worn this entire trip, which CNN reported she prepped for by strategically packing a bag for each separate event on the nine-day journey.
By comparison, the average American family income in 2015, per the US Census Bureau, was $55,775, just about $4,000 more than the cost of the jacket.
It is possible that Dolce & Gabbana loaned Trump the coat — the White House did not immediately respond to a CNN a request for comment, nor has Dolce & Gabbana, who CNN asked for clarification and specifics on the jacket.
For outfits that first ladies wear for state dinners, or historic public events, items can be gifted from designers, and accepted on behalf of the US government. However, after being worn, they are donated to the National Archives. Friday’s outing likely would not be considered in that category.
Otherwise, first ladies are expected to pay out-of-pocket for their clothes.