Monday, Apr. 02, 2012

Michelle Obama

She's hardly the first First Lady to be recognized for her sartorial sense, but Michelle Obama is unparalleled in her influence on American fashion, from her arm-baring dresses and colorful cardigans to her mix of high-end and mass-retail designers. From the beginning of her tenure as First Lady, Obama has been a champion of young designers, famously choosing a one-shoulder white dress by then little known designer Jason Wu for her Inaugural Ball. She hasn't been afraid to defy tradition in the White House either, stirring controversy for picking a sleeveless black Michael Kors shift for her official portrait. These qualities have ingratiated her to fashion heavyweights, including Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour, a Barack Obama supporter who spearheaded "Runway to Win," in February 2012, an initiative that sold designer clothing and accessories to benefit the president's re-election campaign. Meanwhile, the First Lady's appearances in outfits by more affordable brands such as J. Crew and White House Black Market have caused those items to sell out within days, proving that Obama's influence is not just backed by love from the fashion industry, but empirical evidence, too.