Who is Melania Trump’s sister, Ines Knauss? Inside her close bond with secret sibling

Melania Trump is a name known world-wide. Being married to the Former President of the United States of America and business mogul Donald Trump, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the public is interested in her private life. She, however, tends to stay out of the spotlight, which is also true for her son Baron and another person very close to the former First Lady, her older sister Ines Knauss.

Growing up, the two sisters shared a very strong bond, and today, that hasn’t changed even a bit.

The sisters were born in Novo Mesto, Slovenia, but grew up in the small railway town of Sevnica. Their father, Viktor, who was a car mechanic and chauffeur, and their mother, Amalija, who worked as a pattern-maker at a clothing factory, were able to provide a good life for Melania and Ines.

“I grew up with a beautiful family and had a wonderful childhood,” Melania Trump said. “My mother and father taught us the importance of education, hard work and family.”

Viktor and Amalija took their daughters on vacations in France, Italy, and Germany. Today, they live in the States but they still own their home in Slovenia which they visit several times a year.

The two sisters were always dressed impeccably as their mom spent hours designing and making clothes for them. Later on, Melania designed the clothes her mother sewed for her herself.

“She was very pretty,” Tomšič, who has run a local hospital to which Melania donated $25,000 after marrying Donald Trump, told GQ in 2016. “She was always very fancy.”


At the age of 16, Melania was scouted by fashion photographer Stane Jerko who spotted her leaning on a fence while leaving a fashion show at the Festival Hall.

“By the staircase at the entrance, I saw this girl,” Jerko recalled. “She was tall, slim, with long hair. I told her who I was, what I did, and why I would photograph her.”

It was back in 1987 when young Melania decided to drop out of the University of Ljubljana and focus on modeling instead. It took her only a year to get a contract with a modeling agency in Milan.

Once in Milan, Melania focused on her goal of making a name for herself and went home after work instead of partying.

“She kept to herself, she was a loner. After a shoot or a catwalk, she went home, not out. She didn’t want to waste time partying,” Jerko said.

Melania didn’t embark on this adventure by herself, her sister Ines, who also wanted a career in the world fashion, as a designer, accompanied her.

Speaking of Ines, Paris-based photographer Ale de Basseville who took the nude photos of Melania for the French magazine told the New York Post, “She really wanted to be in fashion but didn’t know how to break in.

“Ines wasn’t like the other girls you would meet there, who behave like queens. She was really polite and very mellow.”

When Melania met famous Italian businessman Paolo Zampolli, who helped her get a work visa to the U.S., her sister went with her.

Ines Knauss at 20. Facebook/InesKnauss

At a Kit Kat Club event during the New York Fashion Week in 1998, Zampolli brought a friend, Donald Trump. He was with a date that night, but when he saw Melania, he immediately wanted to know more about her.

One of Melania’s friends, Edit Molnar, spoke of that night and explained that Donald asked Melania for her number, but she didn’t give it to him because he wasn’t alone. “Melania said, ‘He’s here with a woman. I am absolutely not giving him my number,’” Molnar told New York Post. “She wouldn’t even consider it. Donald did all the work.”

Melania also spoke of the night she first met Donald Trump. “He wanted my number,” she told Tatler. “But he was on a date, so of course I didn’t give it to him. I said, ‘I am not giving you my number; give me yours and I will call you.’ If I give him my number, I’m just one of the women he calls.”

Well, the rest is history, and as much as Melania wants to ‘hide’ from the world, we still know a thing or two about her, which can’t be said about Ines.

PALM BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 4: (TABS OUT) Ines Knauss, Melania Trump, and Audrey Gruss attend the Valentino Fashion Luncheon benefitting Boy’s Club of New York at Mar-a-Lago February 4, 2005 in Palm Beach Florida. (Photo by Lucien Capehart Photography, Inc/Getty Images)

According to People, Ines was her sister’s maid-of-honor at her wedding to Donald Trump.

Ines is reported to be residing in a Trump-owned apartment—in a building on the Upper East Side in which Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump also resided before they moved into their new home. Her apartment is just four blocks away from her sister’s triplex penthouse at Trump Tower.

Palm Beach philanthropist Audrey Gruss met Ines at a fundraiser for the Boys’ Club of New York at Mar-a-Lago in 2005. She said Ines struck her “as a lovely person, and extremely creative,” adding that the two sisters are extremely close.

Twitter/Melania Trump

Ines appears to be an artist. In the past, Melania shared on the social media illustrations done by her sister.

Speaking to The Post, Milan-based fashion designer Luisa Beccaria confirmed that the two sisters are like best friends and added that when Barron was born, Melania relied on her sister the most. “Melania had all the professional help she needed at that point,” he said. “But it was her sister she trusted.”

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