The First Lady’s Fashions Help Usher Designers Into History

Barack Obama, Michelle ObamaOn Monday, January 21, 2013, President Barack Obama was sworn in for his second term as President of the United States. His inauguration speech focused on a wealth of issues facing the president and the country in the next four years, including climate change.

But in addition to the president’s words, people paid close attention to his wife and confidante, the First Lady Michelle Obama. In particular, many focused on her fashion choices.

First Lady Obama has long been celebrated and scrutinized for her style and taste for designer fashions. While previous First Ladies have had challenges embracing expensive fashions, Michelle Obama has become a style icon. And the Inauguration, during which the eyes of the world are on her and her husband, is a key chance for her to show off.

As she did during President Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, Michelle Obama wore a pair of shoes created by designer Jimmy Choo to the Inaugural Ball. Though somewhat hidden underneath a long, flowing red dress (by designer Jason Wu, who also created her 2009 dress), the fashion world took note of the red pumps created for the first lady by Choo (which looked similar to these).

Michelle Obama’s fashion choices are obviously a huge boon to the designers she champions; the already famous Jimmy Choo had his profile raised again after the First Lady wore his work in 2009, and her wearing of a dress by Jason Wu helped establish the young designer’s career and led to a popular line of clothes at Target. More than that though, the First Lady’s choices allow the designers to become part of history: the inaugural outfit and its various accessories all go into the National Archives. For Jimmy Choo, who was born on the island of Penang in Malaysia and learned to make shoes in his father’s small shop, this is a remarkable achievement.

To learn more about the life and career of Jimmy Choo, check out Profiles in Fashion: Jimmy Choo by Kerrily Sapet (ISBN 978-1-59935-151-3) from your local library, or purchase it from from Morgan Reynolds Publishing. For more about First Lady Michelle Obama, check out Political Profiles: Michelle Obama by Jeff C. Young (ISBN 978-159935-090-5), also available from Morgan Reynolds Publishing.

-Josh Barrer

Associate Editor

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Published in: on January 22, 2013 at 11:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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