As we bid farewell to Michelle Obama, it’s time to get to know the woman set to step into her shoes. Meet Melania Trump, wife of president-elect Donald Trump, and the future First Lady of America.
1. Melania Trump was born Melanija Knavs on April 26, 1970 in Novo Mesto, Slovenia. She’s the second First Lady to be born outside the United States; the first being Louisa Adams, whose husband John Quincy was president from 1825 to 1829.
2. Her father was a car dealer and her mother designed children’s clothing.
3. Melania began modelling aged 16, and by 18 had been signed to an agency in Milan. She started studying at the University of Ljubljana, but chose to pursue modelling full-time and left after one year.
4. She moved to New York in 1996 and her modelling career took off. She was soon working with prestigious fashion photographers including Patrick Demarchelier and Helmut Newton.
5. Melania first met Donald Trump at a fashion party in New York in 1998. They were engaged by 2004, and married the following year in a lavish ceremony in Palm Beach, Florida. President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, who was then a Senator from New York State, were both in attendance. Melania wore an extravagant John Galliano for Christian Dior Couture wedding gown, which reportedly took 550 hours to make. It was embellished with 1,500 crystals and towed a 13ft train.
6. In 2006, she and Donald had a son, Barron William Trump. Barron has been raised bi-lingual and is fluent in his mother’s native Slovenian.
7. Melania, meanwhile, is fluent in five languages: Slovenian, English, French, Serbian and German.
8. She launched a successful jewellery line on QVC in February 2010 (so successful in fact that it sold out in 45 minutes).
9. Throughout the presidential campaign, her personal style became the subject of many headlines. She wore Ralph Lauren and label-of-moment Gucci, as well as championing London-based designers Roland Mouret, Emilia Wickstead and Roksanda on the campaign trail.