How Melania Trump went from glamour model to sophisticated First Lady
2nd November 2020

When you think age-defying celebrities Melania Trump might not be the first name to spring to mind.

But when you look back at photos of the First Lady over the past 20 years it’s sometimes hard to spot the differences.

Formerly Melania Knauss, the 50-year-old already had a name for herself as a Slovenian supermodel before she met real-estate mogul Donald Trump at a party in 1998.

Then 28, Knauss caught the eye of 52-year-old Trump who was at the New York Fashion Week party with cosmetics heiress Celina Midelfart.

When his date went to the bathroom, Trump wasted no time, asking for Melania’s number and making sure she had every possible way to contact him too.

“The office, Mar-a-Lago (Trump’s Florida estate), home in New York, everything,” she said of the number exchange.

The pair broke up several times among controversial incidents, including one where Trump was in a panel discussion at the University of Pennsylvania and sought her out by bellowing, “Where’s my supermodel?”

In 2001, Knauss got her Green Card and moved into the penthouse in Trump Tower.

They got engaged in 2004, two weeks after the finale of season one of Trump’s hit show The Apprentice, with the reality star sealing the deal with a $1.5 million diamond ring.

They married a year later, which was her first wedding and his third.

She wore a Christian Dior gown with a 4m train that reportedly took 1000 hours to make.

“We’re together five years, and these five years for whatever reasons have been my most successful,” he told tabloid columnist Cindy Adams.

“I have to imagine she had something to do with that.”


While the First Lady has always been stylish, it was her fashion choices as the wife of the US President that she’s become known for.

These days her choices are, unsurprisingly, more modest and reserved, accentuated with luxe accessories and mostly big-name, designer brands.

Interestingly Melania is rarely seen without a pair of large, square-shaped sunglasses – even at night.

Fashion psychologist Dawnn Karen told the Mirror the glasses were her way of saying, “I really don’t want you to look at me, I’m not really a people-person but because of this presidency, because of this administration, I have to go out here and shake hands and be interactive”.

In the past, she’s also said she wishes, “people would focus on what I do, not what I wear.”

She was actually branded “disrespectful” and “rude” in 2019 for wearing her shades during a D-Day commemoration in Normandy, France.

Melania has also become known for her signature stilettos – often a pair of sky-high Christian Louboutin pumps she’s stepped out in on multiple occasions.

While the stilettos have a hefty price tag at $995, they pale in comparison to some of Melania’s other fashion choices, such as the $70,000 Dolce & Gabbana coats she’s been known to sport.

And her custom-made Herve Pierre pieces don’t even come with a price tag, they’re that expensive.

Jewellery wise – despite being married to one of the world’s richest men and having any choice of jeweller at her disposal, Melania often opts to keep things simple and wear the same few key pieces.

She actually has two engagement rings and a wedding band so big she often has to wear it on her other hand.

“I always loved fashion. My mother was a fashion designer so it was always in my blood,” Melania told People in 2015.

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