That was the description of what Washington is likely to be like next year as designers, pundits and social observers rushed Wednesday to define the Barack Obama Era in American politics even before it began. And one thing was clear: the reign of the 44th President-elect won’t be a New Camelot. Instead, he and his young family will bring their own youthful, low-key style to the White House.
Beyond the challenges the President-elect faces — from the economy to trade, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to energy — there was also a sense the Obamas are bringing a much-needed breath of fresh air to the nation’s capital — socially, culturally and stylistically. The socially downbeat years of the Bush administration may be replaced by a more open, upbeat White House, while the fashion industry was salivating at the prospect of having a First Couple who delight in nice clothes and wear them well.
“She will ignite the fashion industry,” Elie Tahari said simply of Michelle Obama. “She is young, pretty, smart and well put together. These are a lot of great qualities.”
Added Donna Karan: “We expect a role model. She is a mother, a wife. She has all the attributes that matter.”
The President-elect was said to be getting right down to business putting together his transition team and crafting his cabinet and key advisers. This includes the imminent naming of Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D., Ill.), a former adviser to President Bill Clinton, as his chief of staff. Many former Clinton administration officials are expected to be part of Obama’s team, although political observers said he is committed to having a diverse, bipartisan group that will bring a fresh face to Washington.
The fashion industry was particularly interested in who would fill key trade and economic slots overseeing billions of dollars worth of trade and global commerce. Obama stressed a new approach to trade on the campaign trail, saying he would hold China accountable for unfair trade practices and promising to employ new environmental and labor standards in trading pacts.
Those inside and outside the fashion industry felt beyond Obama’s stance on the issues, which rang true with voters, his image as a new American president that can bring leadership to the country and lift the nation’s standing around the world were what made his candidacy so appealing. European leaders and newspapers reveled in Obama’s victory as marking a new relationship with the U.S. “Mister President” was the title of Le Monde’s 12-page supplement that included a photo journey of Obama’s road to achieve what the intellectual daily called a “Democratic tidal wave.” It also included a story devoted to Michelle Obama, “the youngest first lady since Jackie Kennedy.”
Here, a look at the next administration — from who might be in the President-elect’s cabinet to the international reaction to the election of the first African-American president in U.S. history and what the style of the Obama White House might be.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty