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Makeup artist Bobbi Brown can add another notch to her lipstick case. Not only did she do the makeup for Jill Biden, wife of Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden Jr., who accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president Wednesday night, but she has also had a role as a delegate from New Jersey at the convention.
This story first appeared in the August 29, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Brown discussed her experience as a delegate, the fashion challenges facing women on the campaign trail and at the convention, and her support for Sen. Barack Obama for president.
WWD: What is in your convention delegate survival kit?
Bobbi Brown: I have Tori Burch flip-flops, a bright pink summer pashmina scarf, a black Theory stretchy skirt, a short-sleeve black cotton Barney’s top and gold Stuart Weitzman platform shoes. It’s odd because it’s like you are around people who are somebody and you want to be comfortable and pulled together, but you want to be yourself.
WWD: Can you describe a day in the life of a delegate?
B.B.: I woke up [Wednesday] morning at 7 a.m. and had a big cup of coffee and went down to the gym. In the gym, you’re on the treadmill and it is really funny to be in this situation because you’re near a state senator and all of these people you know, but you are there in your boxer shorts. It was a fun bonding experience. Then you have to go to the delegate breakfast at 8 a.m. and pick up the credentials. I had an event with [New Jersey] Gov. John Corzine for City Meals on Wheels, then I rushed back to have my hair done. Tonight, I have to pick up my husband’s credentials at the Hyatt and I have to rush over to Mrs. Biden’s. Then I have go to the convention floor and after that I have tickets to two parties, one with Kanye West performing and the other with the Black Eyed Peas.
WWD: How would you describe the atmosphere at the convention?
B.B.: It’s like the Oscars meets Fashion Week meets the Super Bowl on steroids.
WWD: Why do you support Obama?
B.B.: From the second I met him, I just believed he was the guy for change and the right change, the right way. I’ve been there since the beginning with Barack Obama. I turned 50 a year ago and he called to wish me a happy birthday. When I first met him, I remember saying, “You are a rock star” and I really felt it the moment I met him. I’m telling you he is the guy.
WWD: How did you meet Obama?
B.B.: We did a fund-raiser for New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez and Corey Booker [the mayor of Newark] was a guest, as was Barack Obama. So we drew a big, interesting crowd and Barack had not even decided to run by then. He called my husband [Steven, who is on the New Jersey state finance committee] to tell him he was going to run.
WWD: What do you think about Michelle Obama’s style?
B.B.: Everyone says she is so modern, stylish and strong. She is really tall. She looks like the black Jackie O. She is so amazing to have as a role model. She is not only smart and has a great career but she is devoted to her family. It is really hard for women in America to try to figure out how to make a career and how to have a family. I find that’s what people look at me for now, even more than makeup tips.