There are many aspects to fashion but many only focus on the misconceptions such as: fashion is forced onto consumers, fashion only influences women, and fashion is mysterious and unpredictable. What influences fashion are lifestyles, group acceptance, social forces, weather, economy, or depression. Many people today look to others for their fashion styles and ideas. Most innovators in fashion come from entertainers, celebrities, and musicians. We forget to notice that the political influence plays a major role in trends as well. Whether engaged in politics or not, someone everyone notices is the First Lady. The First Lady can be influential in many ways including to her husband, to society, and even after their presidency term. She has the broadest influence on fashion trends today. In the past four years, no woman has been a more powerful force in fashion than Michelle Obama. “Michelle Obama has done it all with a personal style that has inspired admirers and boosted the American fashion industry – by billions” (Stogdhill).
Being a style icon is not a prerequisite for the First Lady, but it’s been seen and known over time, that style is definitely not out of question for the leading lady.
Mrs. Obama has been a motivator, a supporter of harmless causes like helping military families and ending childhood obesity, and an increasingly clever political player who poured her popularity into her husband’s re-election campaign. Fashion has gained shape for Obama’s image that is reachable and inspirational. She will be seen in everything from Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren to Naeem Khan and Doo-Ri, making American styles worldwide. She is also known for her everyday look with garments from J. Crew, Talbots, and Target. She developed a change in the way first Ladies displayed themselves. “She is unabashed in the pleasure she finds in fashion, in her willingness to engage with its creative spirit and to support its independent entrepreneurs – folks not wholly vetted by the Washington establishment” (Givhan).
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Even after all this time, her wardrobe choices still spark trends, generate sales, and get lots of discussion online and television. On her 49th birthday she sported a new hairstyle and was the trending topic on social media.
Fashion has served as a dependable tool rather than distracting her term. She’s placed a lot of spotlight on up and coming designers and increased business for numerous brands. Nick Verreos, who is a fashion designer, and instructor at Los Angeles Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, says he credits her for bringing back recognition to daytime dresses. After years of separates and jeans, Obama came along in A-lines which were trending at malls, Main Street and runways. “The fashion industry is looking forward to her to wear a variety of designer names and brands and call attention to new designers” (Despite her influence on style).
The components of her style are instantly recognizable. She has helped recognize the talents of new American fashion designers. Mrs. Obama has spread her patronage around and enjoyed a reputation as an intelligent appearing woman who has a versatile wardrobe. “In a 2010 study of her economic impact, David Yermack, of the Stern School of Business at New York University, found that the average value to a company from an appearance by Mrs. Obama was $14 million” (Wong).
Due to her education and professional credentials, people expected for the First Lady to take the same path as Hilary Clinton by wearing business suits. However, she took the completely opposite approach by appearing more traditional. Recently, Obama placed emphasis on affordable labels over designer prices. During the campaign last year, she wore dresses by Jones New York and BCBG which each retailed under $300.This was documented on the Mrs-O.org blog which has over 2.5 million visits a year since 2009 when the first lady fashion chronicles began. Obama has been seen wearing a few pieces she’s worn before. “She’s sending the right message: that it’s not really a time to buy a lot of new clothes.
... any period whereas a gown from fashion designer Dior’s collection of 1953 is fashion because the style will change every season as Dior ... the pattern to which a lady’s dress was cut, changed more slowly. Men’s fashions were largely derived from ... from Nuremberg (left) with her counterpart from Venice. The Venetian lady’s high chopines make her look taller. In the ...
So many people are in such trouble economically and she’s in tune with that. And I do think her inaugural gown is going to be something she has worn before” (Moore).
Michelle Obama’s style is approachable and appropriate. She is often seen wearing classical cardigans and pearls. Her style reflects an updated, modern look of how the First Lady dresses. Obama’s fashion influence is particularly strong. She repeatedly wore brooches which led to women pulling out their heirloom pieces from centuries ago. Because of her widespread appeal, a version of items she wears is made by designers and sells out the very next day. Latease Lashley, founder of Creatively Speaking in fashion commentary, stated that no other First Lady has had the impact on fashion as Mrs. Obama has. She is said to help “boost the economy” as a trend-setter. First Lady Michelle Obama has seamlessly transformed the mindset of the nation to try new styles and feel comfortable in their bodies.
Charleston Daily Mail. Despite her influence on style, First-Lady downplays her fashion choices. The Associated Press. 17 Jan 2013. Web. 17 Jan 2013. Givhan, Robin. Michelle Obama’s First-Lady Fashion: Subtle and Savvy. Fashion Beast. The Daily Beast. 4 Sept 2012. Web. 17 Jan 2013. Moore, Booth. Michelle Obama: First lady of style. Los Angeles Times. Fashion Critic. 20 Jan 2013. Web. 20 Jan 2013. Stodghill, Alexis Garrett. Michelle Obama birthday: 49 memorable moments to celebrate the first lady’s 49th year. The Grio NBC NEWS. 17 Jan 2013. Web. 17 Jan 2013. Wong, Alex. Politics. Michelle Obama. The New York Times. 2 Jan 2012. Web. 19 Jan 2013.