I love the fact First Lady Elect Michelle Obama is fashion forward with her choice of clothes. I adore the fact she doesn’t mind showing off “what her mama gave her” and wearing clothes that accentuate her daring shape and not opting for the traditional conservative look of the most recent first ladies that have come before her. It is interesting to read that designers are excited about the marketing prowess of designing signature pieces inspired by the soon to be first lady. Will these pieces and lines be targeted for the African American woman? Or will the designers tactfully market the pieces and lines inspired by Michelle Obama for the American woman? It will be interesting see what fashion models will be wearing these newly created Michelle designs. Will these models look like me? While reading the WSJ- Saturday, 6 December 2008 – the article entitled Over-40 Finds a Muse. Talks about how difficult it is to dress women over 40, I am not 40 yet, however I do work in an industry where business appropriate clothing is the standard. Not in the office I tend to be trendier opting for designer jeans, fitted t-shirts and fashion forwards blazers and accessories. So why it so difficult to dress the woman over 40? After years of unsuccessful attempts to satisfy middle-aged women — a high-spending but difficult-to-please demographic — the U.S. apparel industry is rejoicing that it has finally found its muse – Mrs. Obama.
Women over 35 spent an estimated $53.2 billion of the $109 billion in women’s apparel purchases for the 12 months ended in September, according to market researcher NPD Group. By comparison, women from the ages of 18 to 34 spent only $37.3 billion (girls from 13 to 17 spent the rest).
Apparel makers appreciate that Mrs. Obama — unlike many Hollywood celebrities on the fashion industry radar screen — has realistic proportions. I love this! She is a shapely woman, yes and she looks good in a dress! And she dresses in accessible mall brands, like J. Crew and White House Black Market, as well as in higher-priced designer labels like Maria Pinto and Thakoon. This pretty much signifies my style, I’m a JCrewaholic and at times I may splurge and spend a little bit more on some of my clothing pieces. “One thing I love about her is that she isn’t a stick figure and not a plus size,” says Mr. Mizrahi. “She has a body pride I love.” You have to love Issac Mizrahi from Broooooklyn!!! His comment is spot on!
New York designer Elie Tahari invited retail buyers to his showroom this past week to unveil his latest sartorial confection: a $598 purple-floral sheath that he has named “the Michelle dress,” after Michelle Obama. Elie tahari is another favorite designer of mine….I go way back with Tahari – to the early 90’s when my girlfriend was a pattern maker for Tahari, I would shop at the WFC for suits to wear to work. Nowadays, I shop occasionally at Eie Tahari as I find their pants do not fit my shape. I’m a pants suit fanatic. There pants are not cut for the African American woman. I do however, have two suits from Elie Tahari that I did not wear for an entire season because I’ve gained too much weight and the pants do not to fit my hips and “ass”ets in a business appropriate way. I did win a raffle drawing at Elie Tahari and I have balance left to splurge on a clothing item. My most recent purchase was a pair of shoes and a sweater from Elie Tahari.
In closing, the 44-year-old future first lady’s immediate influence on fashion “has nothing to do with fashion trends,” says Mr. Tahari, who plans to put the dress in ads this spring and in stores in June. “Her style is all about the woman being noticed, not just the dress.”