The designer behind Joy Villa’s “Make America Great Again” pro-Trump Grammys gown, Filipino immigrant Andre Soriano, tells THR that he is supportive of the new president despite his controversial immigration ban, and that the message of the dress was one of positivity.
“It’s more so about love,” he said of the red, white and blue gown. “We all live on this planet. I’ve never been in the political area. However, it’s just so crazy that people are getting beat up because they voted for Trump, or this and that, someone wants to bomb the White House….I am an American, I moved here from the Philippines and I highly believed in the trueness of what this country can bring. It’s about bringing people together, that’s the message.”
Soriano skirted questions regarding the meat of his political beliefs, but said he is proud American and believes that he is an example of the American Dream. He was first discovered on Rihanna‘s Bravo reality show, Styled to Rock, and launched his label in San Diego in 2013, selling ready-to-wear and red carpet looks online only. He is a naturalized citizen.
“There are a lot of people that are in power that really misconstrued what this country stands for,” he said. “I love this country. I’m from the Philippine islands, I am a proud American. I really love this country. I am a minority, Joy is black. America is about immigrants.”
He added of his relationship with Villa, “We’ve been working since the orange gown she wore two years ago, the fence dress. My husband is a contractor and we went to Home Depot and I saw that fabric….the look went viral.”
“I always channel Joy’s music as a designer — we’re both artists and I love her so dearly,” said Soriano. “She is one of the people on this planet that really promotes love. We need to move this country forward, and we believe it’s time to promote love. We only live once, and we need to promote love. We have one president now who is going to do the best thing for planet America.”
As for the inspiration behind the pro-Trump dress, he says, “I heard that somebody wanted to bomb the White House. And then I saw the Women’s March… Joy Villa is all about love with her music. I’m like Joy, We have to make a statement on what is right for our country, of what we believe in, for the constitution.”