On Friday morning, first lady Melania Trump will donate her inaugural ball gown to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
The gown, designed by French-American fashion designer Hervé Pierre, will be placed in the museum’s “First Ladies” exhibit alongside several others worn by first ladies throughout American history, including Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Jacqueline Kennedy and Martha Washington.
Pierre, too, will reportedly be accompanying Trump to the Smithsonian on Friday morning, telling Women’s Wear Daily that he jumped at the chance.
“She asked me if I wanted to be her date, and I said, ‘Oh hell, yes,’” Pierre told WWD. “As a foreigner who became an American, to have your gown put in the Smithsonian Museum is a big huge honor. I got chills. I know how in the designer world, there are lots of big egos. I have always tried to manage my ego for many, many years. But in this case, there is nothing to be ashamed of — it’s a big ego thing. I’m really, really proud of it.”
In a January interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Pierre said Trump herself contributed to the design of the white, off-the-shoulder dress, picking out a “beautiful six-ply silk” for the construction and specifying the shape of the neckline.
"The lines are as sleek as a paper cut; the curves of the skirt are fluid, yet the overall shape is sharp and intense,” he told the magazine. “For me it reflects her personality.”
According to the Smithsonian, the tradition of first ladies giving over their gowns began in 1912 with Helen Taft, who donated the white silk chiffon dress she wore to her husband’s 1909 inauguration.
The First Ladies exhibit now houses one article of clothing that “belonged to the first lady or the president’s official hostess” from every administration, though “not all are inaugural ball gowns,” the museum writes.