Designers clamored to have their designs worn by the statuesque first lady for notable events and even casual outings. The start of it all was her speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention where she stunned in a shimmering sheath designed by Tracy Reese. The dress later sold over 2,000 units. One of Reese’s designs for the first lady now sits in the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Long gone are the days when first lady’s downplayed their appearance, Mrs. Obama dressed like the professional woman posed to work right along with her President. And she does not shy away from bold designs and does not stick to just a couple of well-known designers. She promotes American and foreign designers established and just starting in the business. She has also been known to sport an off the rack J. Crew cardigan. Her designer Azzedine Alaia cardigan braced her frame as she visited Buckingham Palace on a state visit to Britain. Her fashion sense rivals Jacqueline Kennedy. This sort of style in the White House has not been seen since the days of Jackie O and the change in times allows Mrs. Obama to go a little farther with style choices. Kennedy is reported to have spent $45,000 more on her wardrobe than her husband earned as president in his first year in office. She preferred Halston suits and pillbox hats. She and Michelle Obama have bared shoulders and arms without causing too much of an uproar because they delivered their looks effortlessly.
Andre Leon Talley, Vogue Fashion Editor says, “She embraced black designers, Asian designers, and European designers.” Designers selected by Mrs. Obama have been catapulted into the fashion limelight. David Yermac, Professor of Corporate Finance at New York University found an immediate spike in stock prices in publicly traded companies that dressed her.