Help Wanted: Calling All Fashion Designers


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Help Wanted: Calling All Fashion Designers

A satire in which Melania Trump gives today's most talented, unemployed designers unlikely new gigs




Hedi Slimane, Melania Trump, Alber Elbaz, Francisco Costa, Raf Simons, and Italo Zucchelli / Photos: firstVIEW; @sfsuggs / Instagram; firstVIEW (2);; firstVIEW

Ahead of the Spring 2017 shows, a handful of job-seeking fashion designers line up outside an unemployment office. HEDI SLIMANE, with furrowed brows and his usual self-branded cool, enters the office first. He lets out a faint gasp of surprise.

HEDI: Melania Trump?!

MELANIA: Oh, I’m sorry. You were you expecting my husband? This is an employment office, not The Apprentice.

HEDI: I..I.. 

Hedi shakes his head in uncertainty.

MELANIA: You are here for a job, yes? So first, can you tell me, are you a leader? A leader is someone who will go against everybody. 

HEDI: Well, I did receive a lot of negative reviews my first year at Saint Laurent. But all my runway clothes were a hit at retail. In fact, I doubled revenues in three years.

MELANIA: I am impressed. You follow your instinct.

HEDI: Yes, I do. 

MELANIA: So, you have successful career as a creative person.  Do you like music? 

HEDI: Of course.                                                                                                 

MELANIA: And you like the youth culture?

HEDI: That’s what my collections are based on. 

MELANIA: Wonderful. You’re hired!

HEDI: Um, sorry? You didn’t say what the position was. 

MELANIA: You will be new leader of a music band camp for children.

Confused and bewildered, Hedi takes a few steps back.

HEDI: But…Wait! I didn’t say I wanted to…


The bespectacled ALBER ELBAZ enters the room.

MELANIA: Welcome. Please, have a seat. You have been without a job since last fall, correct?

ALBER: Uh, yes. That’s correct. 

MELANIA: How do you feel about fantasy and dreams?

ALBER: When I sketch, it is all about fantasy and dreams. 

MELANIA: Do you have ability to transform? 

ALBER: I was at Lanvin for 14 years, and during that time I transformed the ailing French house into a top fashion brand.

MELANIA: Are you someone who works hard for what they want in life, and who doesn’t quit?

ALBER: I work hard, with passion and compassion. 

MELANIA: But are you a quitter? 

Alber shifts uneasily in his chair.

MELANIA: Are you a quitter?

ALBER: I am not a quitter—I was fired!

In a huff, Alber gets up from his seat and storms out of the room. 

In that same moment, FRANCISCO COSTA approaches the door. He quickly moves to the side so that Alber may pass.


MELANIA: I think so. Come in.

The Brazilian designer turns around and waves to his Italian counterpart, ITALO ZUCCHELLI, to follow him inside. Both dressed in similar Calvinist attire, the two designers take their seats.

MELANIA: You are together? 

FRANCISCO: Well, we both came from Calvin Klein.

ITALO: We’re looking for our next challenge.

FRANCISCO: We aren’t afraid to take the reins, even if our predecessor is world-famous.

MELANIA: OK, I still have a position available. Do you have ability to transform?

FRANCISCO: I can transform a minimalist slip dress into a sensual and daring gown fit for Jennifer Lawrence on the red carpet. 

ITALO: And I can use my tailoring skills to transform a suit ‘s very essence, plus make the man wearing it look bigger, better, sexier.

MELANIA: Fantastic. You’re both HIRED! 

FRANCISCO: That’s great! Where are we off to next?! 

MELANIA: Las Vegas! You will be taking over magic show for Siegfried and Roy!

Francisco and Italo quickly exchange puzzled glances.

ITALO: I think there is a slight miscommunication. We…

A knock is then heard at the door. It is RAF SIMONS.

RAF: Are you almost finished?

FRANCISCO: What are you doing here? You already have a job.

ITALO: Yeah, our job! 

RAF: Well, everyone is anticipating my first collection for Calvin Klein in New York. What if it fails? It doesn’t hurt to have a back-up plan. 

MELANIA: I’m sorry, Raf. That was my last available position for today.

Francisco and Italo smile smugly.

MELANIA: Although I might be able to have you help me personally.

RAF: Oh, really?

MELANIA: How are you at writing speeches? 

All the designers stare back at Melania blankly.

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