Celeb style

Melania Trump's fashion evolution: From model to first lady

Look back at Melania Trump's best style and fashion moments, from her early modeling days in Slovenia to her inauguration day outfit.

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Melania Knavs (Trump) poses for a picture in Ljubljana in the March 1987 picture

1987

Melanija Knavs, who later changed her name to Melania Knauss, was born in Slovenia, Yugoslavia. At 18, she signed with a modeling agency in Milan. Here, the future Mrs. Trump poses for a photo shoot wearing a high ponytail in March 1987. 

Reuters
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Melania Knauss

1987

Melania Knauss was 16 years old when she was discovered by a Slovenian photographer. She posed for one of her first photo shoots in 1987 and began her career as a model. 

Stane Jerko
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Donald Trump And Melanie Knauss

1999

After moving to New York City in 1996, the model met her future husband, Donald Trump, at a fashion week party two years later. In 1999, the couple posed at The Vh1 Divas Live Concert.

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Donald Trump And Melanie Knauss

1999

The couple attended an event for Sports Illustrated in 1999. The model wore a white, figure-hugging gown for the occasion. 

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Melanie Knauss

1999

Melania Knauss walked the red carpet at an awards ceremony in New York. She posed in a sexy sequin gown at the event. 

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Melania Knauss

2000

Knauss is photographed in leather pants and a sparkly top for Redbook magazine's holiday issue.

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Melanie Knauss

2000

Melania Knauss sported a blue sequin gown with a wavy print and a thigh-high slit at 'VH-1 Divas: A Tribute To Diana Ross" event in New York.

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Melanie Knauss

2001

The future president and first lady attended The White House Correspondents' Association Dinner in 2001. Knauss wore a beaded strapless dress for the occasion. 

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Melanie Knauss

2002

The model arrived to an event in New York City sporting tan, boot-cut pants and a fur-trimmed jacket. 

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Donald Trump and Melania Knauss

2002

The couple arrived to the grand opening of Britney Spears' new restaurant, Nyla, in 2002. Knauss wore white pants and a pink-and-red printed halter top. 

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Melania Knauss

2002

Knauss arrived at the Luca Luca fashion show in 2002 wearing an asymmetrical top and matching embellished pants. 

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Melania Knauss

2003

Melania Knauss wore a black corseted gown with a feathered skirt to the Angel Ball charity event in 2003. 

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Melania Knauss

2003

Melania Knauss attended an event at the Cartier Mansion to celebrate the launch of their latest collection. The model wore simple black pants with a matching silk halter top. 

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Donald Trump and Melania Knauss

2004

The couple attended the Vanity Fair Oscar party in 2004. Knauss wore a white silk gown with lace-paneled cutouts for the star-studded affair. 

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Melania Knauss

2004

Melania Knauss attended New York Fashion Week 2004 in a bright pink baby doll top and flared jeans. 

Walter Weissman / Star Max via AP Images
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Melania Knauss

2004

Knauss attended the 2004 Met Gala in a daring black gown complete with intricate cutouts at the bodice. The look was in keeping with the event's "Dangerous Liaisons" theme. 

Ron Galella / WireImage
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Donald Trump Sr. and Melania Trump Wedding

2005

In January 2005, Knauss married Donald Trump at The Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida. She wore a strapless, $100,000 Christian Dior gown made with 300 feet of duchesses satin and a 16-foot veil.

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Melania Trump

2005

The new Mrs. Trump attended the 2005 Vanity Fair Oscar party in a shimmering champagne gown with white feathers at the hem. 

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Melania Trump

2005

Trump attended the Met Gala in 2005 wearing a black satin Alexander McQueen gown with white tulle peaking out at the edge of the skirt. 

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Donald Trump and Melania Trump

2005

Stepping out for an event in New York City, Trump wore a black chiffon dress accompanied by a black-and-white striped fur coat. 

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Donald, Melania Trump

2006

The couple attended the Met Gala in 2006 where Melania wore a simple white silk gown. She paired the empire-waist dress with a dazzling diamond necklace. 

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Melania Trump and her son Barron

2007

Melania and Donald Trump welcomed their son, Barron, in March 2006. One year later, Trump and her son attended the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's 16th Annual Bunny Hop in New York City. They wore matching camel outfits, with hers featuring fur trim at the cuffs and collar. 

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Melanie Knauss

2007

Trump attended the Michael Kors fashion show in February 2007. Her piercing blue eyes peeked out below a black fur hat. 

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Melania Trump

2008

Melania Trump attended the "Sex And The City" premiere in 2008 and wore a tent dress with a black statement necklace and zebra-print heels. 

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Donald Trump, Melania Trump

2008

The Trumps attended an event benefiting UNICEF at the United Nations headquarters in 2008. Melania wore a scarlet halter dress with ruffles at the bodice. 

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Melania Trump

2008

Melania Trump arrived at the 2008 Met Gala in a hot pink gown to match the event's "Superheroes" theme. 

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Melania Trump

2009

Trump arrived to a screening of "The September Issue" at the Museum of Modern Art in 2009. She wore a pale pink frock with a large black belt and peep-toe pumps. 

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Melania Trump

2009

Trump attended the New York premiere of the film "Nine" in a black sequined minidress. She paired the sultry look with a smoky eye and pointed pumps. 

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Melania Trump

2010

The model attended the New York premiere of "Sex and the City 2" in an emerald green ruched mini-dress. She paired the look with nude peep-toe pumps and gold bangles. 

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Melania Trump

2010

Mrs. Trump looks on during the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open in 2010 while wearing classic aviator sunglasses and a slouchy sweater. 

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Donald Trump, Melania Trump

2010

For the Met Gala in May 2010, Trump wore a navy satin ballgown with pickups gathered throughout the skirt. 

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Melania Trump

2011

Melania Trump posed for photographers at the 2011 Academy Awards in a black column gown encrusted with shimmering embellishments. The model paired the look with statement earrings and a silver cuff bracelet. 

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2011

2011

Trump attended the 2011 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner in a Grecian-inspired white gown. The halter dress featured an intricately belted bodice.

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Melania Trump

2012

Melania Trump attended the Met Gala in 2012 wearing a Marc Bouwer Couture cocktail dress that featured all-over sequins and bold shoulder pads.  

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Melania Trump

2014

The future first lady attended a benefit in November 2014 wearing a black jumpsuit that featured sheer lace panel details throughout the bodice and sleeve. 

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2015

2015

As her husband began his presidential campaign, Melania Trump attended the CNBC Republican Presidential Debate in October 2015. She wore a pastel pink coat over her shoulders, paired with white trousers, a white belt and a pale pink Chanel bag. 

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Melania Trump

2016

Melania Trump attended the Time 100 Gala in April 2016 wearing a white column gown by Mugler. The stunning sheath featured cutouts at the bust and a thigh-high slit. 

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Donald Trump, Melania Trump

2016

Melania Trump joins her husband during the Iowa caucuses in February 2016. Mrs. Trump coordinated with her husband wearing a red shift dress and a red coat resting on her shoulders. 

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Donald Trump Campaign Rally - New Hampshire

2016

Trump joined her husband onstage during a primary election campaign stop in New Hampshire wearing a belted camel suit.

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Melania Trump

2016

Trump stepped out to deliver a speech on the first day of the Republican National Convention in July 2016 wearing a white Roksanda Ilincic dress with bell sleeves. The dress sold out the next day. 

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Donald Trump

2016

As her husband accepted the Republican nomination for president, Trump walked hand-in-hand with the nominee, wearing a cream-colored dress with delicate floral appliques at the shoulder. 

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Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Melania Trump greet each other before Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton begin their presidential town hall debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, October 9, 2016.

2016

Former President Bill Clinton and Melania Trump greet each other before their respective spouses engage in the presidential town hall debate at Washington University. Trump wore a bright fuchsia, pussy-bow blouse by Gucci and matching pants for a bold, monochromatic ensemble. 

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Melania Trump

2016

Trump spoke at an campaign event in November 2016. She wore a blush Emilia Wickstead blouse and a white, high-waisted pencil skirt for the event. 

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Donald Trump Campaigns

2016

Melania Trump waves to the crowd at a campaign rally in North Carolina wearing a fitted navy dress paired with a navy belt and navy pumps. 

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Donald Trump and Melania Trump

2017

Melania Trump joined her son and husband in a white, one-shoulder jumpsuit by Ralph Lauren to celebrate Donald Trump's presidential election victory in November 2016. 

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Donald Trump, Melania Trump

2016

President-elect Donald Trump and his wife stepped out for a New Year's Eve party in Palm Beach, Florida. The future first lady wore a black Dolce & Gabbana dress featuring small bows at the shoulders. 

Evan Vucci / AP
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Donald Trump and Melania Trump

2017

Melania Trump and her husband attended a pre-inauguration ball in January 2017. The soon-to-be first lady wore a long-sleeved, champagne-colored gown by Reem Acra for the event. 

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Donald Trump and Melania Trump

2017

The Trumps wave to the crowd at a pre-inauguration concert at the Lincoln Memorial. Mrs. Trump wore a black, military-inspired coat by New York-based designer Norisol Ferrari. 

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Donald Trump and Melania Trump

2017

Newly-minted President Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk along the parade route on Inauguration Day. The first lady wore a powder-blue cashmere dress with a matching jacket and gloves by designer Ralph Lauren. The choice drew comparisons to Jacqueline Kennedy, who also wore pale blue for her husband's inauguration. 

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Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump

2017

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump take the stage at the Inaugural Ball in January 2017. Melania Trump wore a sleek, off-the-shoulder gown with a cascading ruffle and thigh-high slit. The design, which was a collaboration between Mrs. Trump and designer Herve Pierre, a former creative director for Carolina Herrera, featured a small, knotted belt at the waist.

Take a look back at 150 years of first lady gowns at inaugurations here. 

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