By  on June 28, 2007

CHICAGO ­— Long a favorite of female executives and Windy City socialites, Chicago designer Maria Pinto could be poised to dress a first lady. That is if Michelle Obama, a Pinto client, and her husband, presidential candidate Barack Obama, make good on their bid for the White House.

Pinto, who presented her fall collection Thursday, met Obama before her husband ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004. The pair hit it off, became friends and now Pinto designs everything from the luxe gowns Obama wore to the Grammys and Oprah Winfrey's Legends Ball to the alpaca black belted coat and wool suit she donned the day her husband announced his candidacy. Pinto also crafted the black cashmere and black, ivory and red tweed coats worn that day by Obama's young daughters.

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