In a new interview with the Economist podcast, posted Friday, interviewer Anne McElvoy noted that she believes Melania “very consciously” opted to wear outfits from British designers during a state visit to the U.K. last month.
When McElvoy then asked Wintour her thoughts on Melania’s recent fashion choices, she answered the question by praising former first lady, Michelle Obama instead.
“Well, I think first lady Michelle Obama really was so incredible in every decision she made about fashion,” Wintour said. “She supported young American designers. She supported designers, indeed, from all over the world. She was the best ambassador that this country could possibly have in many ways, obviously, way beyond fashion.”
“But she’s not the first lady now. So what about the one you’ve got now?” pressed McElvoy.
“To me, [Obama] is the example that I admire,” Wintour responded.
Earlier this year, the first lady’s rep told Fox News that being on the cover of the fashion magazine “doesn’t define” her after Wintour implied she wasn’t interested in having Melania featured in the fashion mag.
“To be on the cover of Vogue doesn’t define Mrs. Trump, she’s been there, done that long before she was first lady,” spokesperson Stephanie Grisham said in April.
“Her role as first lady of the United States and all that she does is much more important than some superficial photo shoot and cover,” Grisham said. “This just further demonstrates how biased the fashion magazine industry is, and shows how insecure and small-minded Anna Wintour really is.
“Unfortunately, Mrs. Trump is used to this kind of divisive behavior.”
Melania’s stance came after Wintour was asked by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour why Vogue features first ladies and women leaders on its coveted cover. Amanpour failed to mention that the current first lady, a former fashion model, has been M.I.A. from the fashion magazine since taking up residence at the White House, while recent Democratic first ladies Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton both commanded covers.
“You have to stand up for what you believe in and you have to take a point of view,” Wintour told Amanpour, reflecting on how she picks her covers. “We profile women in the magazine that we believe in the stand that they’re taking on issues we support them, we feel that they are leaders.”
Michelle was featured on the cover of Vogue three times when she was first lady, and Hillary Clinton graced the cover in 1998 with the tagline “The Extraordinary Hillary Clinton.”
Melania did appear on the magazine’s cover in 2005, when she married Donald Trump.
Fox News’ Sasha Savitsky contributed to this report.