First Ladies are known to dress with definite purpose. And an endorsement by them can help any fashion label beat recession blues

Barack Obama seems to have ushered in an era of hope. Every thing he does, every word he speaks, attracts huge feedback. There seems to be one more thing that generates similar response and that’s his wife Michelle Obama’s presence next to him. As the world hung on to every word that Obama spoke, it was Mrs. Obama’s dress that was driving people everywhere from fashion magazines to Internet chat rooms – in a total frenzy. Her black sheath dress with splashes of red had everyone commenting or her style. Some hated it and some loved it and, some called it “the look of victory”. For according to many, the Obama’s don’t do anything just for the sake of it – there is always a purpose. As the London Times fashion editor said, “You may like or dislike Michelle Obama’s dress but that’s not as interesting as the agenda behind it, because you can be sure there was one.” She may not be wrong, for the entire Obama family was colour coordinated. It was probably the most well choreographed First Family Elect Appearances in history with Barack Obama’s tie and his daughter’s (Malia and Sasha) red and black clothes matching Michelle’s dress! According to some, the red & black combination symbolised two things – black for mourning for Obama’s grandmother who died on the eve of the election while red stood for passion!

It is said that it was not a mere coincidence why Barack Obama chose Hart Schaffner Mart to make the suit he wore to accept the Democratic nomination for President. The company is one of the few that can claim their products are made in America. For a man who has always so vociferously opposed outsourcing of jobs, this was an interesting way of making his point. Keeping the same logic in mind, it is argued that Michelle Obama prefers to wear clothes by Chicago-based designer Maria Pinto, for Pinto built her brand from scratch and made it a success. She represented the American dream – a country where you could realise your dreams. Come to think of it, you thought clothes were just meant to make one look good – well they do a lot more than that.


The First Lady with her simple and clean style seems to have won the nation over. She seems to have well understood the power of clothes and used it to her favour. Michelle Obama has an uncanny knack of understanding what appeals to the masses. Her choice of dresses has made it clear that she believes in looking stylish and also advancing the cause of American fashion. She appeared on the very popular TV show “The View” wearing a simple dress picked off the rack from a retail chain named “White House Black Market” (symbolic again!). Women came in droves to the retail chain store demanding the $148 dress. For the swearing-in ceremony, Mrs. Obama wore a lemon-grass outfit designed by, not Versace or Ralph Lauren, but a Cuban-American nobody, Isabel Toledo. From the choice of the designer to the choice of colour, everything seemed to emphasise her husband’s speech which said, “We are going to do things differently now.” Some even said it sent a message about a favorable foreign policy vis-à-vis Cuba. Some people sure know how to make their clothes work for them.

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