Former first lady Melania Trump announced plans today to auction off an estimated $250,000-worth of her White House-era belongings.
Called the “Head of State Collection,” the digital auction will allow online visitors to bid on “three important one-of-a-kind signed items,” according to Melania’s website, including the white broad-brimmed bespoke Hervé Pierre hat she wore to her 2018 meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, a signed original watercolor painting by Marc-Antoine Coulon, and an NFT (non-fungible token) work of art.
The opening bid for the three items is set at $250,000, and bidders are only permitted to send their payments via SOL, a form of cryptocurrency.
Reportedly, a portion of the proceeds are going toward the former first lady’s Be Best initiative. This is not the first time that Melania Trump has been involved in NFTs: at the end of December 2021, she announced plans to sell digital artwork regularly, with the first being an NFT that includes an audio message attached to a painting of her eyes, titled “Melania’s Vision.” The former first lady has drawn backlash for her involvement in the sale of NFTs in light of the environmental damage the tokens are believed to cause.
Former first ladies, such as Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis, traditionally donated their assets and personal items to historical art museums or stored them in the Presidential Library & Museum instead of selling them for profit.