The first lady’s campaign spokeswoman Olivia Alair said: “The first lady thinks that women should wear whatever makes them feel good and be comfortable. That’s how the first lady chooses her own clothes and based on no other considerations.”
Michelle Obama has been heralded by the industry for promoting fashion in a different way than her predecessors. Previous first ladies have worn American designers proudly, but most followed the couturier model of having a few chosen designers make their clothes. Jacqueline Kennedy famously wore Oleg Cassini, ruffling feathers with her preference for French labels. Nancy Reagan, faithful to American designers including James Galanos and Oscar de la Renta, waded into controversy and undermined her own efforts to branch out and embrace American fashion by borrowing clothing and jewelry from designers. Michelle Obama has learned from the missteps of first ladies past, seeking out up-and-comers and wearing more than 50 American designers in her husband’s first term. She has also mixed high-end labels with moderately priced pieces from stores such as J. Crew and Talbots.