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The First Lady the world will forever miss.
The First lady who has landed not one but three VOGUE magazine covers. Keeping it clear, as an African-American woman which I am (yes, America means the entire continent) we have never seen ourselves portrayed in such widely-known, important and respected images of beauty as it happens with her. Furthermore, since The Jackie Kennedy-Onassis Age that involves: style, class, intelligence, taste, sophistication and charm, the white house was no longer the residence of a fashionable First Lady.
Back in 2008 the fashion world knew a new trendsetter was born. All eyes were set on her clothes, bye, bye boring First Lady’s attires, let’s welcome Michelle Obama… and her captivating sense of style. As she soon became the First Lady her outfits started connecting with women all over the world from all over the classes. The main reason? Her predilection to mix high end & low cost’s fashion brands; none the less, her classic, lively and stylish combinations.
There’s no doubt her posture says she is a First Lady of style: strength and confidence. Her fashion sense impress experts and amateurs and that makes her one of the most influential fashion icons in the last decades, along with The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton in England.
Being Mrs. O. is not just being stylish, her style makes that ordinary people tend to ignore how well-educated, strong and successful she is given the fact she was a black woman growing up in the 60’s. Also let’s not forget she’s got Ivy-league education: Harvard Law School and Princeton University.
Sadly, clothes are what people see first. But putting that aside, everything she wears matters, as the wife of the most powerful man in the world she naturally creates a crucial commercial frenzy in the Fashion Industry. People loves to see what she wears, and want to recreate in their lives the codes her clothes transmits.
Thousands of women not just love, what is more, die to go and buy what she wears. One of her secrets: ‘accessorize yourself’ either with belts, gloves, brooches or necklaces. Accents that makes her fashion sense easily attractive to women, she effortlessly re-creates feminine, breezy and attention to detail attires. Along with that, you can see how such powerful soul comes through her clothes and makes a major worldwide statement. The way she dress is sexy and bold in the classiest way possible and one of her big guns is that she knows how to mix designer garments with affordable pieces.
Yesterday, 4-year later she strikes back. From day to night style she gives major and crucial buzz to the $350 billion dollars fashion industry in the USA.
There’s always a question hanging everyone’s head: What Michelle Obama is wearing? Well, is not a silly question after all, her always lively picks makes me believe that fashion world has to recognize that Michelle Obama is a big deal and a major financial buzz for the industry during her 8-year as FLOTUS and post-FLOTUS. We have The Michelle Obama Effect: Worn today out of stock tomorrow.
She’s not just stylish, she’s a very good example of Fashion-Politic. Michelle Obama makes the perfect resemble of that strong connection between two powerful tools in society: Fashion and Politics, both of them move and touch people in certain ways that we don’t even notice. After all cloths are a disguise we use to seduce people in our favor. That’s what political leaders want. When it comes to send a message they go for the magical effect send to the masses in every way including garments.
Those attractive attires she wears pass on a strong message further than ‘Oh how stylish she is’, mixing high-end with affordable pieces is not in vain, the fashion politic statement it’s clear: I’m one of you all. There’s no time for politicians or powerful leaders to show-off against the middle class with luxurious clothes as seen in the Marie Antoinette ‘extravaganza’ age, this woman shows empathy with the current financial outlook of the masses and that’s the intangible code behind the way she dress that make even a bigger statement and get her connected with the masses so well. Let’s not forget her infamous ASOS’s dress.
In days like yesterday where Barack Obama’s second-term has begun, garments were more than just garments. As we were watching history as it happens, vestments go beyond the basic garment. They are full of codes, and represent feelings, values, and they become aspirational for the middle class (also thanks to her natural public charm).
There are plenty of designers out there not so insta-famous but extremely talented that need this kind of fantastic re-boots from a post-modern icon like her, and that’s great. In this way, Fashion Industry needs to acknowledge that “what Michelle Obama wears” it’s now a matter of global opinion and a legacy.
FLOTUS*: First Lady of The United States.
The Author: Isabel Riascos, Economist, Fashion Marketing + History | Fashion Writer | Style Make-up Nerd. @_pepamaria