Whether you’re her biggest fan or her biggest hater, you have to admit that Melania Trump has had one hell of a journey. Once, she was a struggling model just hoping to get steady work and build a new life for herself in America. Soon enough, this former model found herself sitting pretty in the White House as the First Lady of the United States.
It’s the kind of journey that words can’t really justify, which is why we’re mostly going to let Melania’s sizzling looks do the talking. How has her fashion evolved over the decades, and just how does she remain such an icon with each new look? Keep reading to find out!
A tribute of her own
In this sexy dress, Melania Trump attended the taping of the VH1 Divas 2000: A Tribute to Diana Ross. Obviously, the purpose of the evening was to honor Ross, but Melania wasn’t afraid to let her own inner diva out with this sizzling look.
Is that a fourth Angel?
Melania is clearly dressed to impress here, and you might think she was getting ready for a night out clubbing. But she was actually attending the premiere of Charlie’s Angels in 2000, and we’re not surprised she’s a fan. Hell, she looks like she’s suited up to join the team!
Showing off her boyfriend (or is it the other way around?)
Melania Trump eventually became a mainstay presence at the Oscars. And in 2001, she attended with a movie star, albeit one who is mostly known for other accomplishments. Here, we see her look glam next to Donald Trump, her then-boyfriend and future husband.
A different kind of showgirl
Melania understands how to rock different looks for events with different vibes. For example, when she attended the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, she knew the demographic was young and rowdy. In response, she dressed like a showgirl, and judging from Trump’s expression, this was an outfit that certainly turned heads.
Meet the new Jackie O
Politically, we doubt former FLOTUS Melania Trump would like to be compared to Jackie O. But back in 2003 at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, she wasn’t afraid to dress in homage to someone just as fearless and powerful as herself.
No vanity, all fair
As a regular Oscars attendee, Melania Trump eventually began attending the Vanity Fair Oscar Party. Here, we see her mingling with fellow celebs at the 2005 party in an outfit so revealing that Donald Trump can scarcely keep his hands off her!
Cute in casual clothing
As a supermodel turned celebrity turned FLOTUS, Melania Trump usually wears very fancy dresses wherever she goes. But as this photo from New York Fashion Week in 2004 shows, she also knows how to dress casually in a way that puts the rest of us to shame.
Fine and feathered
In 2005, Melania Trump made her triumphant return to the Vanity Fair Oscar Party. And her sleeveless gown paired with her feathered skirt made her the talk of the town all night long.
A McQueen for a Queen
It can be tough to stand out at the Met Gala when everyone else is going all out as well. Still, when Melania wore this Alexander McQueen gown in 2005, even the most jaded celebs and glitterati had to admit she looked absolutely stunning.
Is she an attendee or an award?
No tour of major Hollywood parties would be complete without attending the Emmy Awards, and in 2005, Melania did so in style. With an empire waist on her strapless gown, she looked statue-esque enough to be the Emmy rather than part of the audience.
A beauty bounces back
When Melania Trump attended the Met Gala in 2006, she surprised many in attendance, and not just because they love her gown. What took everyone by surprise was that Melania had given birth to Barron Trump less than two months before this event, and instead of laying low for a while, she came back looking somehow even lovelier than before.
Peak Met fashion
Melania Trump has attended many Met Gala events, and she always managed to look exquisite. But if we had to pick a favorite outfit, it would probably be this Christian Siriano. Emerging from its midnight blue folds, Melania seems more ethereally mysterious than ever before.
Melania and the City
Melania was apparently a big fan of Sex and the City, and she attended the premiere of the second film in style. Nobody can deny she looks amazing, but we do have one big question: do you think she’s more of a Carrie or more of a Samantha?
Impressing the politicians
Given her history as a model (one who had posed topless, no less), everyone wondered whether Melania Trump could ever be accepted as first lady. But with a gracious smile and a white Roksanda Ilincic dress, she managed to win everyone over at the 2016 Republican National Convention.
Looking nervous on election night
Donald Trump’s election night in 2016 was the most important moment of his life and, by extension, Melania’s life. In order to mark the occasion, she wore a Ralph Lauren jumpsuit that looked nothing short of presidential.
Melania on parade
After Donald Trump won the 2016 election, Melania’s next biggest event was going to be the 2017 Inauguration Day parade. And with this Ralph Lauren, she brought a timeless and classy elegance to the entirety of the proceedings.
The Belle of the Freedom Ball
After the inauguration, it was time to celebrate at the Freedom Ball party. And as a stunned Donald Trump could likely attest, his wife Melania was the prettiest belle at this particular ball.