Melania Trump has hired New York event planner Stephanie Winston Wolkoff as a senior adviser, according to a person with knowledge of the hire, taking her first step in assembling a staff to support her as first lady.
Wolkoff, 46, has deep roots in the fashion industry as a former special events planner for Vogue and a fashion director for the Lincoln Center. And her hiring, first reported by the New York Post, shows the new first lady’s attempt to bring her loyal circle of New York friends and staff into the unfamiliar terrain of Washington and politics.
A longtime friend of Trump’s, Wolkoff made her name staging the glamorous, star-studded Met Gala — a credential she parlayed into a role as lead organizer of the Trump inaugural balls and dinners.
Melania Trump has not yet hired a chief of staff, a social secretary or a communications director, key positions in any White House. For now, her primary residence remains in Manhattan, where her 10-year-old son, Barron, is in school.
Trump and Wolkoff move in the same elite Manhattan circles. After divorcing Wolkoff’s father, her mother married Bruce Winston, son of famed jeweler Harry Winston, who eventually adopted Wolkoff. The mother of three is married to David Entratter Wolkoff, a real estate developer.
She is a graduate of Loyola University in New Orleans with a degree in communications and worked her way up in the fashion industry, eventually starting her own firm, SWW Creative.
Wolkoff will commute to Washington from New York. She did not respond to a request for comment.